Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Skin Care Health >>  Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer where the malignant cells are found in the outer layer of the skin. Skin is the largest organ of the body which protects the body from heat, infection light and injury. Anyone can get skin cancer but some risk factors for skin cancer includes sun burns or spending lot of time in the sun, having light colored skin, eyes and hair, a family history of skin cancer and age over 50. Skin cancer can occur on any part of the body but some common places which are being exposed to sunlight like hands, face, arms and neck are more prone. Other minor factors for developing skin cancer include scarring from disease or burns, industrial x-ray exposure, and occupational exposure to compounds like arsenic and coal tar.

There are three different types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and skin melanoma.

Melanoma skin cancer is the most serious kind of skin cancer.
Actinic keratoses are the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer. They resemble small scaly spots, commonly found on face, neck arms, ears and back of hands.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer mainly found in fair-skinned people. A small fleshy bump, nodule or red patch is observed in common areas like head, neck, face and arms. This grows slowly over a period of months or years and if left untreated then can begin to bleed, crust over, heal and repeat this cycle.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second common form of cancer of the skin. This like basal cell carcinoma is found in fair-skinned people than dark-skinned people. This cancer can appear as a red scaly patch or a bump mainly located on the face, lip, rim of the ear and mouth. It is important to get an early treatment for this type of cancer because unlike basal cell carcinoma, this form can become invasive, metastasize or develop in to large masses.
Melanoma cancer is less common than the other two but most deadly of all. Melanoma begins in the melanocytes which produce melanin the skin pigment. The cancer can appear in the shades of brown, tan or black as the melanoma cells usually continue to produce melanin. There are 4 types of melanoma - superficial spreading melanoma, nodular melanoma, acral lentigous melanoma and lentigo malignant melanoma.


All the three skin cancer types are on rise but with an early detection and successful treatment, even the most aggressive forms can be controlled. It is however important to notice suspicious changes on the skin and avoid or limit exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Submitted on September 4, 2008