There are three main types of skin cancer. The most serious is melanoma. Our skin is made up of cells: basal cells, squamous cells and melanocytes. The different types of skin cancer are named for the skin cell where the cancer develops: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
What are the 3 most common skin cancers?
There are three major types of skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
What is the most aggressive skin cancer?
Melanoma is the most deadly of all the skin cancers and affects over 44,000 Americans each year.
Which is more serious basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma?
Though not as common as basal cell (about one million new cases a year), squamous cell is more serious because it is likely to spread (metastasize). Treated early, the cure rate is over 90%, but metastases occur in 1%–5% of cases. After it has metastasized, it’s very difficult to treat.
How can skin cancer impact your life?
Receiving a skin cancer diagnosis is a life-changing experience. Fear, anxiety, depression, and other emotions can run rampant, regardless of your specific diagnosis and treatment options. For many, although diagnosis may be scary, there are treatment options and ways to manage and improve your condition.
What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?
Stage 1: The cancer is up to 2 millimeters (mm) thick. It has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites, and it may or may not be ulcerated. Stage 2: The cancer is at least 1 mm thick but may be thicker than 4 mm. It may or may not be ulcerated, and it has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites.
What happens if basal cell goes untreated?
This type of skin cancer needs to be treated and has a high cure rate. If left untreated, basal cell carcinomas can become quite large, cause disfigurement, and in rare cases, spread to other parts of the body and cause death.
Which skin cancer grows fastest?
Merkel cell carcinoma tends to grow fast and to spread quickly to other parts of your body. Treatment options for Merkel cell carcinoma often depend on whether the cancer has spread beyond the skin.
How long does it take skin cancer to kill you?
It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun.
Do you feel sick if you have skin cancer?
You can feel well and still have skin cancer
They don’t feel ill. The only difference they notice is the suspicious-looking spot. That spot doesn’t have to itch, bleed, or feel painful. Although, skin cancer sometimes does.
What does early stage squamous cell carcinoma look like?
Squamous cell carcinoma initially appears as a skin-colored or light red nodule, usually with a rough surface. They often resemble warts and sometimes resemble open bruises with raised, crusty edges. The lesions tend to develop slowly and can grow into a large tumor, sometimes with central ulceration.
What is Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma?
Stage IV (stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma): The cancer can be any size and has spread (metastasized) to 1 or more lymph nodes which are larger than 3 cm and may have spread to bones or other organs in the body.
Does squamous cell carcinoma spread fast?
Squamous cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes (spreads to other areas of the body), and when spreading does occur, it typically happens slowly. Indeed, most squamous cell carcinoma cases are diagnosed before the cancer has progressed beyond the upper layer of skin.
What happens to your body when you have skin cancer?
Skin cancer usually appears as a growth that changes in color, shape, or size. This can be a sore that does not heal or a change in a mole or skin growth. These changes usually happen in areas that get the most sun—your head, neck, back, chest, or shoulders. The most common place for skin cancer is your nose.
How do people with skin cancer feel?
Some types of skin cancer spread along the nerves. If this happens, it can cause itching, pain, numbness, tingling, or a feeling like there is ants crawling under the skin. Other signs may include a lump or bump under the skin in areas such as the neck, armpit, or groin.
What is the best treatment for skin cancer?
Eight types of standard treatment are used:
- Surgery. One or more of the following surgical procedures may be used to treat basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, or actinic keratosis: …
- Radiation therapy. …
- Chemotherapy. …
- Photodynamic therapy. …
- Immunotherapy. …
- Targeted therapy. …
- Chemical peel. …
- Other drug therapy.