Skin Cancer: 4 Major Types of Skin Cancer | Causes & Prevention of Skin Cancer

Here are The 4 Types of Skin Cancer let’s see the overview of the topics that we will discuss in this Post…

 

INTRODUCTION

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

But what are the four types of skin cancer?

How do you know if you have one? And why does it matter? 

Knowing your skin cancer facts can help you recognize these cancers when they appear and find a treatment that works for you. Here are some of the basics about the four most common types of skin cancer.

Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer

 4 TYPES:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Malignant Melanoma

  • Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

1) Basal Cell Carcinoma

It is most common and often appears as a painless lump on sun-exposed areas. It can be removed with surgery but rarely spreads to other parts of your body. A few cases have been linked to genetic disorders. It has a low chance of returning after being completely removed, but it can cause disfigurement if left untreated or recurring. People affected by BCC are at risk for developing melanoma later in life. for more detail visit here…

 

2) Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is a malignant form of skin cancer, which means it can spread to other parts of your body and become life-threatening. Squamous cell carcinoma often appears on sun-exposed areas such as your arms, face or neck as a rough, scaly red patch. It’s caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds. Squamous cell carcinoma can also appear in non-sun exposed areas like your mouth and gums. Because squamous cell cancer is often slow-growing, it usually goes unnoticed until it becomes quite large and has spread. Although there are several treatment options for squamous cell carcinoma, early detection is key in ensuring an optimal outcome. for more detail visit here…

Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer

 

3) Malignant Melanoma

Symptoms to watch out for include itching, a sore that won’t heal, open sores on your skin and one-sided swelling. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma may also cause enlargement or redness in one area. This type of cancer is very rare and it appears most often in people with weak immune systems, like those who have received organ transplants. It can grow anywhere on your body but is mostly found in your arms and legs. This kind of skin cancer can be successfully treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, treatment will vary depending on where you have cancer cells located as well as how much time has passed since you first noticed symptoms. for more detail visit here…

 

4) Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

This is one of those rare diseases that most people have never heard of but, chances are, they know someone who suffers from it. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is an uncommon form of skin cancer that results in itchy or painful patches on various parts of the body. People with CTCL may also have a fever or night sweats and weight loss. The good news is that CTCL is rare — fewer than 10,000 cases are diagnosed in North America each year — and can be successfully treated with topical medications or radiation therapy. But because treatment options vary depending on your particular type, a dermatologist should be involved to make sure you get what’s right for you. for more detail visit here…

Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer

 

Where skin cancer develops?

The skin is made up of three different layers: 

  • The outermost layer, called the epidermis, contains flat cells that form an elastic and waterproof barrier. 
  • Within it lies another thinner layer called the dermis, which has hair follicles, oil glands and nerve endings. Melanocytes are cells within the dermis that produce melanin, a pigment responsible for skin colouring. 
  • Melanoma occurs when melanocytes begin to grow uncontrollably and form malignant tumours on the skin’s surface or deep within its layers.


Basal cell carcinoma signs and symptoms

Basal cell carcinoma, or BCC, is slow-growing cancer. Early signs and symptoms include an area that’s red or pearly with a white lump in it. Later signs and symptoms include 

  • scaling, 
  • crusting 
  • raised lesion.

The skin around basal cell carcinomas can look shiny and appear scaly, waxy or scarred. In rare cases, a BCC spreads to nearby tissue and forms new lumps (known as metastases) on other parts of your body. 

If you notice any changes in your skin for more than two weeks—especially if you see new lumps forming—see your doctor to be checked for skin cancer.

 

Squamous cell carcinoma signs and symptoms

Squamous cell carcinoma usually appears as a scaly red patch on your skin that may be itchy or painful. Often, there are no other signs and symptoms. A squamous cell carcinoma can grow into a lump on your skin and maybe tender to touch. 

Squamous cell carcinomas often look like an open sore or have puss-filled blisters on top. This type of cancer is also known as a cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma because it affects your skin’s outer layer, called your epidermis, which includes all of its cells: 

  • keratinocytes
  • melanocytes 
  • Langerhans cells
  • Merkel cells 

and others…

Melanoma signs and symptoms

One in 50 people will develop melanoma during their lifetime. It is more likely to occur in fair-skinned, middle-aged adults and more common among men than women. 

Though there are many types of skin cancer, melanoma is different from other skin cancers because it can spread to other parts of your body very quickly. Signs that you may have melanoma include

 

Signs and symptoms of less common skin cancers

More people in the U.S. are diagnosed with melanoma—the most common form of skin cancer—than any other type of cancer, but many other forms are much less common and include: 

  • basal cell carcinoma (BCC) 
  • squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) 

Although they’re not as deadly as melanoma, BCC and SCC can cause scarring, disfigurement, or even blindness if left untreated. 

Both types tend to grow slowly and rarely spread to other organs. An estimated 2 million Americans are affected by one or both diseases at any given time; about 90 per cent of those cases involve BCCs that develop on non-sun-exposed parts of the body like your face, neck, arms, hands, legs or feet.

  • Kaposi sarcoma

This rare form of cancer is usually found in people with weakened immune systems, often due to HIV/AIDS. Kaposi sarcomas can be identified by purplish, red or brown patches on your skin. These patches are highly vascular and bleed easily. 

If you notice these symptoms, see a doctor immediately as they are slow-growing but tend to spread quickly if left untreated.

  • Merkel cell carcinoma

Commonly referred to as MCC, Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare skin cancer that’s usually found on sun-exposed areas such as your head and neck. 

Merkel cell carcinoma is generally not caused by UV exposure, however; rather, it’s linked to viral infections in humans, specifically infection with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8). (1) This virus is also implicated in other cancers associated with immunodeficiency syndromes like Epstein-Barr Virus and AIDS.

  • Sebaceous gland carcinoma

Develops in sebaceous glands, which are normally found on your scalp, face and body. The tumours don’t typically spread beyond a single gland but they can be hard to detect because they can take months or years to grow to a size that warrants medical attention. 

If you notice an unusual wart-like growth on your scalp or face, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist immediately. It could be an early warning sign for sebaceous gland carcinoma.

When to see a doctor?

If you notice a spot or lump on your skin, it’s important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Some people don’t realize they have skin cancer until it’s advanced, but early detection is key. 

The earlier you are diagnosed, and if it is determined that you do have cancer, then treatment will begin sooner rather than later. 

If left untreated, some forms of skin cancer can become life-threatening and cause serious damage to your health. Early detection could save your life! That being said, even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms or discomfort in general, make sure to schedule regular visits with your dermatologist just to stay on top of things like checkups and screenings—it could save you time and money down the road.

 

Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer

 

Causes Of skin cancer 

Overexposure to UV radiation is responsible for skin cancer, most notably Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. 

Both are easy to treat but can have deadly consequences if left unattended; as a result, we must prevent them from occurring in the first place. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure safe sun exposure: Cover your skin with protective clothing. 

Seek shade when appropriate (e.g., avoid midday sun) and always wear sunscreen on exposed areas; applying sunscreen below 40°F doesn’t do much good! Use caution when outside between 10am and 4pm—this is prime time for UV rays.

  • Squamous cells

The skin is covered in squamous cells, which help keep your body protected from infections. When they are not functioning properly, they can become cancerous. Squamous cell carcinoma develops from squamous cells when they start to reproduce quickly and uncontrollably. 

The affected area may have a raised border with scaly patches on top. Squamous cell carcinoma can develop anywhere on your body but is most common in areas that receive high levels of sun exposure. Other risk factors include smoking and excessive drinking or drug use.

  • Basal cells

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that originates in basal cells, which are found on hair follicles. Although it rarely spreads to other parts of your body, it can lead to serious disfigurement when left untreated. 

Basal cell carcinoma typically presents as a painless red or pink patch on your skin; you may also notice a shiny bumpy appearance or a wart-like growth.

  • Melanocytes

The skin has two types of melanocytes: epidermal melanocytes and dermal melanocytes. The epidermal melanocytes produce a dark pigment called eumelanin, which determines hair and skin colour. The dermal melanocytes develop into more primitive cells called dysplastic nevi that have characteristics similar to those found in invasive or malignant melanoma. Dysplastic nevi are often flat and pigmented but can become raised above your skin’s surface.

Ultraviolet light and other potential causes

The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. All three forms are caused by UV radiation from sunlight or tanning beds. 

Basal cell carcinoma affects over 2 million people annually in North America, while more than 1 million people get squamous cell carcinoma. Another 72,000 cases are diagnosed each year with melanoma, which is typically linked to a genetic predisposition for sun sensitivity and an increased number of blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence. 

Other potential causes include exposure to arsenic, X-rays and coal tar compounds, though these factors do not play major roles in skin cancer development as they once did.

Risk factors

While skin cancer is generally considered to be a genetic disease, certain lifestyle risk factors can put you at greater risk. For example, spending time in sunny climates increases your likelihood of developing skin cancer; pale-skinned people and those with freckles are more susceptible than darker-skinned people, and individuals who had blistering sunburns as children are more likely to develop skin cancer later in life.

 

Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer
  • Fair skin

People with fair skin are at greater risk for sun-related skin cancers than those with darker complexions. Caucasian people are more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, while African Americans are at a higher risk for melanoma.

  • A history of sunburns

According to a study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, men who report having had more than 17 sunburns between ages 15 and 20 have an 81 per cent higher risk of melanoma than those who reported fewer sunburns. As for women, those with 11 or more sunburns in their teens or 20s are 58 per cent more likely to develop melanoma than those with four or fewer.

  • Excessive sun exposure

When you’re outside, make sure to protect your skin from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen and long-sleeved shirts. Also, avoid the midday sun, when it’s strongest. This is especially important if you have fair skin and light eyes—you’re much more likely to burn than tan or brown. Even if you use sunscreen, it’s a good idea to reapply it at least every two hours.

  • Sunny or high-altitude climates

Just like it sounds, people who spend a lot of time in sunny or high-altitude climates are at risk of developing skin cancer. The UV rays in sunlight damage your DNA and can cause abnormal growths to form on your skin. More exposure to sunlight increases your risk for melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and other types of skin cancer.

  • Moles

You’ve seen them all your life, but you probably don’t give moles much thought. Moles are small growths on your skin that develop from pigment-producing cells in your skin (melanocytes). Most moles appear in childhood and eventually go away with no treatment; some disappear by themselves over time and others disappear only to reappear in a different spot.

  • Precancerous skin lesions

These are abnormal growths that may have a higher chance of turning into skin cancer than lesions that aren’t precancerous. For example, a mole that has changed in colour, size or shape is considered precancerous, but one with irregular borders and multiple colours has an even greater risk. If you notice any unusual changes in your skin, contact your doctor to schedule an appointment for removal.

  • A family history of skin cancer

It’s not just melanoma skin cancer that puts people at risk. People with a family history of non-melanoma skin cancers (the most common type) are more likely to develop them themselves than those without such a family history. Still, anyone can get non-melanoma skin cancer, including children and older adults, so it’s important to be aware of symptoms and early detection methods. Here are some tips for identifying and dealing with any suspicious growths.

  • A personal history of skin cancer

I’ve had two bouts with skin cancer—squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma—and luckily I caught them both early. Let me tell you, they don’t feel good. But once a dermatologist removes that little section of your skin, everything is okay again.

  • A weakened immune system

If you think you’re healthy, but still aren’t getting better from colds and flu, it could be your weakened immune system causing all your problems. Check out today’s post on boosting your immunity here. You might want to start by hitting like—this way you can be sure not to miss future posts. And if it turns out that there are things you can do to prevent illness in addition to bolstering your health with homoeopathic remedies (blog on those tomorrow!), then hit like again. This one’s for research: Maybe now would be a good time to check out what we’ve got going in our new healthcare division: ‘Immun-Lon’… Anyway, about skin cancer…

  • Exposure to radiation

Radiation causes our bodies to break down DNA, which can be especially harmful when it comes to our skin. One in every 500 Americans will develop basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and one in every 1,000 will develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). These are considered non-melanoma skin cancers and they’re easily treatable if caught early. Both BCC and SCC start on our skin’s surface, and most people discover them during self-exams or biopsies.

  • Exposure to certain substances

Certain substances can cause skin cancer. According to dermatologist Dr Henry Lim, Many forms of skin cancer are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or artificial sources such as tanning beds and sun lamps. These UV rays damage DNA in cells, potentially leading to uncontrolled cell growth and resulting in skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma.

 

Prevention for Skin Cancer 

Several different types of skin cancer can occur in your body. The most common cancers occur when dead cells build up in malignant masses called tumours. 

These can develop on various parts of your body and are easy to recognize if you know what to look for, which you’ll learn by reading further into our content. The four most common types of skin cancer include:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma 
  • Merkel cell carcinoma

We’ve also included information about non-melanoma skin cancers here; but for more specific information about those conditions, visit our dedicated page here: How Are Non-Melanoma Cancers Treated?

 

Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer

Avoid the sun during the middle of the day

Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., ultraviolet rays from the sun are at their strongest level, meaning you should be mindful of how much time you spend in direct sunlight during that period. 

This advice is especially important for fair-skinned people with light eyes and blonde or red hair, but all skin types can burn under these conditions; it’s not just about complexion, as people with darker complexions can also get sunburned if they don’t properly protect themselves by seeking shade or wearing protective clothing while they’re outside. 

To avoid getting sunburned on a summer day (and to lower your risk for more serious conditions like melanoma), remember to seek shade and wear sunscreen between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Wear sunscreen year-round

Experts recommend applying sunscreen year-round, not just when you’re in a bathing suit or at your favourite ski resort. Sunscreen provides skin with protection from ultraviolet rays (UVR), which can lead to sunburns and certain types of skin cancer. 

Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays. Both UVA and UVB can contribute to wrinkles, skin discolouration and melanoma – so make sure you’re properly protected before heading outside in any weather. 

The three main sunscreen ingredients are titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and avobenzone (also known as Parsol 1789). Pick one that works for your lifestyle: how it feels on your skin, if it leaves a white film or if it requires reapplication.

Wear protective clothing

You probably don’t need a reminder to protect your skin from harmful UV rays—but some people may not realize just how much clothing can help. Clothing doesn’t just protect you from sunburn; it also helps block potentially cancer-causing ultraviolet (UV) rays, keeping you out of harm’s way. 

Be sure to stock up on hats, sunglasses and sunscreen and slather it on! If you choose to spend time in the sun, cover up with clothes and use sunscreen liberally. 

For instance, if it takes 15 minutes for your unprotected skin to burn while wearing a bathing suit, it will take roughly 30 minutes if you are fully clothed in long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.

Avoid tanning beds

Tanning beds expose your skin to UV rays, which can cause premature ageing and potentially lead to skin cancer. It’s better to avoid tanning completely, but if you do decide to get a tan, use sunless alternatives such as self-tanners or spray tans instead. 

Remember that these can be just as dangerous – make sure to use self-tanner in moderation and avoid doing it too often. It’s better for your skin overall if you skip it altogether! If you need help coming up with a safe alternative solution, consult with a professional at your local drugstore or beauty shop.

Be aware of sun-sensitizing medications

Certain medications might cause your skin to burn more easily, and if you’re taking them you must exercise extra caution when in direct sunlight. 

Certain heart medications, chemo drugs, seizure medications and steroids are just a few examples of sun-sensitizing drugs. 

To avoid doing damage to your skin, be sure to wear sunscreen every day and don’t stay in direct sunlight for too long—especially during peak hours. If possible, try sitting under an umbrella or staying out of direct sunlight as much as possible. If you must go out in sunny weather, limit yourself to only 10-15 minutes at a time.

Check your skin regularly and report changes to your doctor

You can’t check yourself for skin cancer, but you can learn how to look for signs and symptoms that could indicate that something is wrong. 

It’s important to remember that not all moles are cancerous and that not all skin cancers appear as a raised lesion or a sore. Some appear as new growths on top of your skin, like flesh-coloured bumps, while others might manifest as freckles or age spots. 

Examine yourself each month in good light. Here are some steps to follow: Look at your face first, then move down your body.

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