In the United States, more than 5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer of some form every year. It’s actually the most common form of cancer in the united states. Thankfully, however, skin cancer is not necessarily a death sentence.
In fact, with early detection and treatment from board certified health care professionals, the proliferation of cancer cells can be inhibited. After treatment, many, many people, previously diagnosed with skin cancer, live long, healthy, beautiful lives. But early detection is the key.
In this article, we’ll discuss the three most common types of skin cancer, what they are, and how they can be properly identified at home.
BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
As the most common form of skin cancer, Basal cell carcinoma affects millions of people every year. In fact, Basal cell carcinoma accounts for 8 out of 10 cases of skin cancer in the United States, according to The American Cancer Society.
Basal cell carcinoma begins in the lower part of the epidermis, referred to as the basal. Like Squamous cell carcinoma, Basal cell carcinoma typically develops along the face, head, and neck—any sun exposed areas really. These sort of cancer cells proliferate slowly, and it is highly rare for this type of skin cancer to spread to other parts of the body.
However, if Basal cell carcinoma is left untreated, there is a higher likelihood of it spreading across the body. Moreover, if a Basal cell carcinoma removal is incomplete, then the skin cancer will likely recur. But this doesn’t have to happen.
Thankfully, once identified by our Dermatological Services at MCR Health, we can assist with the full removal of Basal cell carcinoma.
SYMPTOMS OF BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
Some of the symptoms of this type of skin cancer are similar to symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma. But Basal cell carcinoma has many of its own distinct signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.
SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA
The second most common form of skin cancer is Squamous cell carcinoma. According to the American Cancer Society, “About 2 out of 10 skin cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.”
This form of skin cancer typically begins in the flat outer cells of the epidermis and most often occurs on sun exposed areas, including the face, ears, neck, and backs of the hands. But that’s not all.
In reality, Squamous cell skin cancer can develop in many parts of the body that are not necessarily at risk of sun exposure. Parts of the body such as chronic skin sores, scars, and even the genitals can all potentially develop skin cancer.
Thankfully, Squamous cell carcinoma is an entirely treatable form of skin cancer. At MCR Health, the skin cancer specialists who provide our Dermatology services can offer treatment and removal of this form of cancer.
SYMPTOMS OF SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA
Typically, Squamous cell carcinoma is easily identified through its visible symptoms. On the upper epidermis, it usually appears as red/pink bumps or patches. Prevention offers a detailed list on what this form of skin cancer looks like:
While it only ranks as the third most common type of skin cancer, malignant melanoma is actually the most deadly. What makes this form of skin cancer so serious are Melanocytes, the same cells that make skin darker when exposed to the sun.
Malignant Melanoma occurs when these Melanocytes proliferate at an uncontrollable rate. Frequently, Malignant Melanoma develops on the legs of women and on the chests and backs of men. It can develop on other parts of the body as well, but this occurs much less frequently.
If Malignant Melanoma is not caught and treated immediately, then its cancer cells grow and spread rapidly, resulting in painful, possibly fatal, complications.
SYMPTOMS OF MALIGNANT MELANOMA
This form of skin cancer possesses a very distinctive type of symptom that individuals can look out for—moles.
Now not all moles are signs of melanoma. We develop many over time, and they’re not a sign of skin cancer. The kind of moles that would indicate skin cancer are distinct and typically have the following qualities:
EARLY DETECTION AND EARLY TREATMENT
Individuals must always be watchful for signs and symptoms of any kind of skin cancer, but this alone isn’t enough. Early detection means nothing if treatment from a medical professional isn’t sought.
Once symptoms are identified, individuals need to make appointment with skin cancer specialists, a dermatologist, who can provide advanced dermatology, effective treatment, removal, and relief.
At MCR Health’s Dermatology services, we do just that. Our board certified dermatologists are highly trained individuals who can help.
If you identify symptoms of skin cancer or need to talk with an expert, please call 941-405-1170 or schedule an appointment online.