What is the most common types of skin cancer?

 What is the most common skin cancer?

What is the most common types of skin cancer?_Ichhori.com

There are various types of skin cancer, each of which is classified according to the cells that are affected. Basal cell carcinoma, for example, arises in the basal cells directly beneath the skin’s surface. Squamous cell carcinoma develops in squamous cells that shed from the outer layer of the skin while new cells form beneath them. Melanoma is a cancer that affects the melanocytes, which produce melanin (a skin-darkening pigment) in reaction to exposure to the sun. Merkel cell carcinoma affects the cells that give the skin its sensation of touch.

Basal cell carcinoma – the most common type of skin cancer

The most prevalent type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma (also known as basal cell skin cancer). Basal cell carcinomas account for about 80% of all skin cancers. These malignancies begin in the basal cell layer, which is the epidermis’ lower layer. Sun-exposed areas, such as the face, head, and neck, are the most common areas for these malignancies to develop. They have a moderate growth rate. A basal cell cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is extremely unusual. Basal cell cancer, can spread to surrounding areas and affect the bone or other tissues beneath the skin if left untreated.
Basal cell carcinoma is by far the most commonly diagnosed type of skin cancer. It is caused by sun exposure and grows slowly. However, if the malignant cells are not treated, they may spread to surrounding tissues.

Characteristics of basal cell carcinoma

Fair-skinned people are more likely to develop BCC. However, there is still a risk for people with darker skin to develop this type of skin cancer.
Basal cell carcinomas appear as pinkish patch of skin, a flesh-coloured circular growth, or a pearl-like lump.
Basal cell carcinomas are more commonly found in those who have spent years in the sun or tanning indoors.
Basal cell carcinomas are most commonly found on the head, neck, and arms, but they can also appear on the chest, stomach and legs.
Basal cell carcinomas must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Basal cell carcinomas have the potential to spread deep. It can enter the nerves and bones if allowed to grow, causing harm and deformity.
Basal cell carcinomas can sometimes recur in the same spot where they first developed. Patients with previous diagnosis are more likely to develop a new basal cell carcinoma elsewhere. Within five years of the initial diagnosis, almost 50% of these patients may develop a recurrent basal cell carcinoma. After its treatment, it is critical to conduct regular skin self-examinations to check for new symptoms, such as abnormal growths or changes in the size, shape, or colour of an existing area.
Patients with basal cell carcinoma should be on the lookout for signs of recurrence since they are at a higher risk of developing other skin malignancies. It is difficult to predict a patient’s risk of recurrence of basal cell carcinoma, however recurrence is more likely in those who:
Have had eczema or dry skin
Have been exposed to UV light, such as tanning beds
Had original carcinomas in layers deep in the skin
Had original carcinomas that were more than 2cm in diameter

Basal cell carcinoma statistics

Basal cell carcinoma is the 5th most common cancer in both men and women, with over 1 million diagnoses worldwide in 2018, albeit this number is likely underestimated. For various reasons, quantifying the incidence of skin cancer is very difficult. There are numerous subtypes of cancer, which might make data collection difficult. Furthermore, many cancer cases are not discovered or recorded: certain countries lack cancer registries, parts of some countries have few or no records, records in countries affected by war or other disruptions are likely to be incomplete, and some cancer patients do not seek medical help. Due to these factors, the global incidence of skin cancer is likely to be underestimated. Non-melanoma skin cancer is sometimes overlooked in comparison to most other cancers.

The second most common skin cancer – Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma, the second most prevalent skin cancer, is a tumour that develops in the skin’s outer layer (the epithelium). The most vulnerable are middle-aged and elderly people, particularly those with fair complexions and frequent sun exposure. It often appears as a bump, or a red scaly patch on the rim of the ear, the face, the lips, and the mouth.
Squamous cell carcinomas are frequently caused by actinic keratoses, which are small sandpaper-like growths. They might occur in the form of nodules or scaly red areas on the skin. Squamous cell carcinomas can occur anywhere on the body, including the lips, and the inside of the mouth. If not treated promptly, it can metastasize and spread to other parts of the body. 
Squamous cell carcinomas most commonly occur on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face, ears, neck, and hands, but they can also occur on scars, mucus membranes, and the genitals. This type of cancer is significantly more likely to penetrate fatty tissues under the skin’s surface than basal cell carcinomas.

Malignant melanoma

Melanoma begins in melanocytes, the skin cells that create melanin, the dark, protective pigment that gives the skin its tan. Melanoma is the deadliest of all skin malignancies. When detected early enough, it is usually treatable. Melanoma can emerge out of nowhere, but it can also start in or near a mole or another dark patch on the skin. The most common cause of melanoma is assumed to be excessive sun exposure, particularly sunburn. Indoor tanning using UV radiation has also been linked to the development of melanoma. It can also be inherited, therefore if a family member has had it, a person’s chances of having it are higher. Skin cancer screenings are the most effective methods to prevent this terrible disease.
Melanoma is a rare but deadly cancer that develops in parts of the body that are not exposed to the sun, such as the groin, eyes, and bottoms of the feet. Cancerous cells could also spread to surrounding lymph nodes and spread to other regions of the body.

While all types of skin cancer require immediate medical attention, treatment options and prognoses differ greatly. Despite the fact that the number of skin cancer cases continues to rise, more skin cancers are being detected early, when treatment is easier. As a result, the rates of disease and death have dropped. Both basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) have a cure rate of over 95% when treated properly. The remaining cancers recur following treatment at some point. Recurrences of these cancers are virtually invariably local – they do not spread to other parts of the body – although they frequently result in severe tissue loss. Once an individual has developed skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma, there is greater risk to develop a second within a few years, so it is advised to get the skin checked frequently to detect it early. Skin cancers that are detected early can have a better prognosis. It is recommended to know your skin and visit a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening if you have any suspicious moles or spots. Early detection and treatment of skin cancer rely heavily on public awareness.


1. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/basal-and-squamous-cell-skin-cancer/about/what-is-basal-and-squamous-cell.html#:~:text=Basal%20cell%20carcinoma%20(also%20called,lower%20part%20of%20the%20epidermis.

2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/skin-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20377605

3. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/types/common

4. https://reliantmedicalgroup.org/medical-services/dermatology/three-most-common-skin-cancers/

5. https://moffitt.org/cancers/skin-cancer-nonmelanoma/faqs/what-are-the-most-common-types-of-skin-cancer/

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