The three types of skin cancer, most common, are Basal Cell Cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma, in that order.
Basal Cell Skin Cancer is the worlds most common and affects more than one million people in the US each year. It rarely spreads; it grows slowly and is highly curable in the early stages. Nevertheless, no one should take basal cell cancer lightly as it can be quite disfiguring if not properly treated promptly. Almost all of this type of cancer occurs on body parts most exposed to the sun and is a result of sun damage.
Squamous Cell Skin Cancer is the second most common. It also grows slowly but as it does grow, it can suddenly change to a faster rate. Such was the case with me. When this happens, it can grow inward and can reach vital organs. The growth is usually local and it can affect close organs. Again it is usually caused by sun damage due to overexposure. The sun damaged skin can be unnoticeable; however a person would feel a rough scaly patch on their skin. This is precancerous and can go a long time (years) without much change or noticeable growth. This condition is known as actinic keratosis. It can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. In this precancerous stage it can be removed by a dermatologist spraying liquid nitrogen and freezing the affected area. It is highly curable in the early stages. Mine spread to a stage 3 and it was successfully removed, although more difficult and more damaging in side effects, both short and long term.
Melanoma is the third most common of the types of skin cancer. About 50,000 cases of malignant melanoma are diagnosed in the US every year and the number is increasing. It is estimated that 1 in 70 people will develop melanoma in their lifetime. About 8,000 per year lose their lives to malignant melanoma. It usually develops as a pigmented mole or dark spot on the skin, but can also be pale in color, making it appear innocent. Although it is the most deadly, it is also highly curable in the earliest stages.
The prognosis for malignant melanoma is greater if it has not spread beyond the outer layer of the skin into the lymph nodes or other places in the body.
The best protection would be to avoid over exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds and live a healthy life style for a strong immune system.
Learn to do regular self skin exams to be watching for changes in moles, freckles, or any new occurrence on your skin. It’s you who has the first chance to spot it.
To learn more about these 3 common types and other rare types of skin cancer visit the website given below.
Always seek the advice of your doctor, dermatologist or qualified health professional when you see something suspicious happening on your skin.