Skip to content

Types of Skin Cancer

As mentioned earlier, there are three types of skin cancer:

● Basal cell carcinoma

● Squamous cell carcinoma

● Melanoma

These types of skin cancer are discussed in more detail, as are the risk factors, basic facts, diagnosis, and treatment plans.

Basal cell carcinoma

 Doctors diagnose more than 1 million new cases of basal cell carcinoma in the United States alone every year. Basal cell carcinoma has many different categories: 

● the superficial 

● the easiest to cure 

● the nodular 

● the most common 

● the Morfean 

● the metastasizing

Basal cell carcinoma occurs when the DNA in the cells on the uppermost layer of your skin mutates and causes these cells to cluster into malignant tumours. These tumours generally grow on your face, ears, neck, head, shoulders, and back (or any area which is directly exposed to sunlight.) If you are outside or exposed to anything that will put you in direct contact with intense ultraviolet light and radiation for any period of time, you are at greatest risk of developing basal cell carcinoma. 

If you get skin cancer, it will probably be a basal cell because it is the most common type of cancer. For example, four million new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone. Basal cell carcinoma can cause tumours which destroy surrounding tissue. Though it is very common, it is generally not deadly because it rarely metastasizes. 

The other good news is that basal cell cancer is easy to detect and treat because it is very obvious and slow-growing. If you develop it, you should see an oncologist and dermatologist because it is a very serious cancer which can cause you lots of short and long-term skin damage (and emotional pain.) you’ll know if you have this type of cancer because it manifests itself in the form of obvious open (and painful) sores, red patches, painful pink lumps, scars with high edges. 

These scars sometimes have indentations in the middle. Basal cell carcinoma can show up in the form of oozing, crusting, or bleeding scars, patches, or sores. You should constantly examine your skin for these types of developments. Also, remember that basal cell carcinoma is not uniform in that it looks different on different people.

As mentioned earlier, seek medical help immediately if you think you have BCC. while not usually life-threatening or deadly, it can cause substantial facial disfiguring and loss of skin, bone, or connective tissue since it tends to spread into surrounding skin tissue, bones, and even vital organs. Therefore, you could sustain substantial organ damage or even organ failure if you let BCC grow uncontrolled. 

Squamous cell carcinoma

About 20% of Americans who are diagnosed with skin cancer have SCC. Therefore it is the second most common form of skin cancer. If you have a weaker or unresponsive immune system, you are at greater risk of getting it. It acts like BCC in many ways but differs in one key way in that it does not easily spread to surrounding areas. It is a little less dangerous than BCC is for this reason. You get SCC if you have uncontrolled skin growths or lesions on the outer surface of your skin. 

SCC tends to grow on those areas of your body, which are most exposed to the Sun’s harmful UV rays and radiation. These include your ears, face, head, neck, and hands. Please note that excessive wrinkles and skin spots in these areas often indicate precancerous SCC cells, so you may want to see an oncologist and dermatologist if you have these symptoms to be on the safe side.

You can get SCC if you have fairer skin and you are constantly out in the Sun or using tanning beds. Approximately 1 million new cases are diagnosed this year in the United States alone. Squamous Cell carcinoma is more serious than BCC is because it has been known to metastasize more often. It can do more than just damage your skin, surrounding organs, bones, and joint tissue. It can be deadly. In fact, more than 15,000 Americans die from SCC annually. 

The good news is that SCC is easy to detect and therefore is easy to diagnose and treat. If you have skin growths or lesions which are filled with the flat cells, you likely have SCC. As with all cancers, you develop SCC when ultraviolet light ray radiation causes the DNA in certain upper skin cells to mutate. They then become malignant and grow quickly – this is when the skin, bone, and organ damage begins. When doing regular skin cancer exams, look for the following to detect SCC:

● Scaly red patches of skin

● Open sores

● Rough skin patches

● Thick and rough skin patches

● Strange and large warts on the skin

● Raised bumps which are pitted in the middle

Remember that different people have different looking and coloured skin growths when they develop SCC because it does not develop or grow uniformly in all people. You can also develop painful SCC growths in your genital areas. Perhaps because of greater exposure to sources of ultraviolet light ray radiation and longer life spans, SCC cases have grown by 200% in the past thirty years.


This type of skin cancer develops in the melanocytes, which are those cells in your skin that develop melanin, skin colour pigment. You can develop melanoma most favourably if you are fairer. Be on the lookout for melanoma if you have an area of skin that has excessively raised moles. Interestingly enough, it can develop on any part of your body, including your genitals. While the exact causes of melanoma are not clearly understood, most cases are correlated with prolonged exposure to the Sun or tanning beds. Know that you are more likely to develop melanoma if you sunburn easily and often.

Melanoma is a serious skin cancer that affects many people because 192,000 new cases can be probably diagnosed in the United States this year. Approximately 92,000 of those are expected to metastasize, and 7,200 are expected to be deadly. This is why you should see skin cancer and skin doctor immediately if you see an area of your body which is full of strange-looking, shaped, and coloured moles!

There are currently four known types of melanoma:

● Lentigo Maligna

● Acral Lentiginous melanoma

● Nodular melanoma

● Superficial spreading melanoma

Skin cancer stages

Different types of skin cancer have different stages, and some have no stages. An example of a type of skin cancer with no stages is Basal cell Carcinoma (BCC). 

What is Skin Cancer | Causes and Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | FAQs