Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It is slow growing and easily treated with a small percentage spreading internally. It develops on the skin, most commonly the head and neck, growing from the deepest layers of the epidermis, in areas most exposed to the sun.
Squamaous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer.
“Squamous cell carcinomas tend to grow and spread more than basal cell cancers. They are more likely to invade fatty tissues just beneath the skin, and are more likely to spread to lymph nodes and/or distant parts of the body, although this is still uncommon.”
Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes, with tumors that are usually brown or black. But some melanomas do not make melanin and can appear pink, tan, or even white, are more likely to start in the trunk (chest and back) in men, and the legs as the in women. The neck and face are other common sites.
Having darkly pigmented skin lowers your risk of melanoma at these more common sites, but anyone can develop this cancer on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and under the nails.
Melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, but it is far more dangerous. Like basal cell and squamous cell cancers, melanoma is almost always curable in its early stages. But it is much more likely than basal or squamous cell cancer to spread to other parts of the body if not caught early.
Doing monthly checks of your skin are the best way to spot the appearance of any type of skin lesion. When you begin to see something suspicious, make an appointment to see your Dermatologist as soon as possible. For all skin cancers, the earlier you find them, the greater success with curing and preventing its spread.
This is a great graphic that illustrates the difference of where each of the three originate and grow; a great resource for more information can be found here.
How do you check your skin? Click on over to “Are YOU Regularly Checking Your Skin For Skin Cancer?” for tips!