The 3 Types of Skin Cancer

The 3 types of skin cancer are:

  • basal cell,
  • squamous cell, and
  • melanoma.

    Basal cell and squamous cell are also known as non-melanomas. They are more common compared to melanoma. The non-melanomas are also less deadly and are easier to treat. If you love the outdoors just as much as my husband does, preventing these 3 types should be our top concern.

    Both melanoma and non-melanomas are caused by overexposure to the sun's radiation without enough protection and the use of tanning beds.

    Among the 3 types, the basal cell is the most common. In fact, majority of the diagnosed cases are basal cell. It is also the easiest to treat. There are fewer cases of squamous cell carcinoma but it is more aggressive compared to the basal cell. The melanoma is the least common but is more difficult to treat.

    This is how the basal and squamous cell carcinoma types look like:

    kinds of skin cancer pictures
    Images courtesy of the NCI

    What you should know about basal cell carcinoma

    It is the most common among the 3 types of skin cancer. Basal type of carcinoma accounts for more than 90% of cases in the U.S. It starts in the cells of your skin's top layer known as the epidermis where it grows slowly and doesn't show any visible signs.

    What is interesting about the basal cell carcinoma is your face is its favorite spot to form lesions in. But lesions may also appear in your scalp, or your nape or neck.

    What are its signs? Although it is the most common, it is also the hardest to diagnose because signs are not readily seen or felt. It can take months and sometimes years to be visible.

    It almost never spreads to the rest of your body. It can even be left untreated because it does not kill. This is the good news. But the bad news is it can disfigure your eyes, nose or ears (your whole face, actually!) if left untreated.

    Things to know about squamous cell carcinoma

    Among the 3 types of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type. It normally appears after the age of 50. If you're a man and you work in or love the outdoors so much, you are more prone to squamous carcinoma.

    I believe it occurs more frequently in men than in women because men are not as particular as women when it comes to sun protection. I know this for a fact because my husband still needs to be told to apply sunblock lotion.

    Compared to basal cell, squamous cell spreads faster and can spread to other locations including your internal organs. But it is relatively slow-growing compared to melanoma.

    Anyone who was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma is more likely to get squamous cell carcinoma in the future. Thus, its prevention is very important. Always, always make sure you are protected before going out in the sun. A good sunblock lotion that gives excellent protection against the 3 types of skin cancer is made by SmartShield. You can choose and order the specific SmartShield Sunscreen in

    Important facts on melanoma

    Where does it grow? The tumor starts in the melanocytes which produce the pigment called melanin. Your skin produces melanin when exposed to the sun. The sun's radiation is the top culprit.

    However, you may be more susceptible to melanoma without being aware of it. Heredity plays a major role in melanoma. If you have a parent or a sibling who has been diagnosed with melanoma, you are at a higher risk. If it runs in your family, your risk goes up even hgher if you are always under the sun without any protection.

    Melanoma is the most dangerous and the most serious form among the 3 types of skin cancer. It can cause serious illness and even death. Melanoma can advance and spread fast throughout the body. It is harder to treat and is more fatal because of its aggressiveness.

    If you love the outdoors, you need not hide inside your house. Life is short not to enjoy it. Just make sure to wear sun protection clothing against UV radiation.

    What are the signs you should be aware of? Appearance of new moles or unusual changes in moles are warning signs

    Melanoma is the least common. It has fewer diagnosed cases but it causes the most deaths among the 3 different types of skin cancer.

    Other Related Pages You Might Like:

  • Return from 3 Types of Skin Cancer to What is Skin Cancer

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