Distinguishing the Different Forms of Skin Cancer

25 October 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


Although a significant number of people are aware of skin cancer, not many actually know that there are different types. Instead, the common misconception is that skin cancer is one single type of growth. The truth is skin cancer can exhibit itself in different forms and can affect people of all races. Nevertheless, it is more common in people who have less melanin in their skin as this makes them more susceptible to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Below is an outline of the various forms of skin cancer.

Actinic Keratoses

Actinic Keratoses (AK) comprise of precancerous growths that will appear as scaly patches of dry skin. This type of skin cancer takes a significant time to develop as it is due to decades of exposure to direct sunlight. As such, you will find that it will affect the elderly more so than younger people. AK will present itself on areas of your body that tend to be more exposed to the sun on a regular basis such as your head, shoulder forearms and neck. If you notice these scaly patches, it is crucial to seek treatment from a skin cancer clinic. Leaving them undeterred can lead to the development of squamous cell carcinoma.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This type of skin cancer will present itself in various ways. The most common way it will exhibit itself is as firm bumps on the skin. It can also appear as pink or red scaly patches of skin. SCC can also appear a skin sore that has a cyclical cycle of healing but eventually ending up reopening itself. Squamous cell carcinoma tends to develop on areas such on the ears' rim, on the chest, on the back, on the arms and the face. If it goes undetected, it can spread to other parts of the body and this can lead to gradual disfigurement.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma is one of the more common forms of skin cancer that individuals will suffer from. It will typically present itself in the form of flesh coloured bumps on your skin. Individuals who are much fairer may notice them as pinkish bumps on their skin. People who tend to spend numerous hours outdoors tanning or who embark on numerous tanning bed sessions are more likely of developing BCC. Although the bumps can develop on any part of your body, they are more commonly spotted on the arms, neck and head. Easy diagnosis of BCC is crucial. This is because is the patient does not receive treatment in good time; the BCC can proceed to invade surrounding tissues. This gives it the chance to grow into the individual's bones and nervous system, which can cause irreparable damage or permanent disfigurement.  

Learn more by contacting a skin cancer clinic.