Even though melanoma is the most lethal, it is not the most common type of skin cancer. If you want to take the best measures for prevention, you should learn more about the non-melanoma types as well. Find out the main things which you need to know about them.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This is the most common type of skin cancer, according to statistical data. It affects the basal cells. These are the cells in the deepest layer of the skin. Even though the deepest layer is affected, there are visible abnormal growths which are the main symptoms of the condition.
Basal cell carcinoma can manifest itself in a number of different ways. These include open sores, which heal and then bleed again, reddish patches which show signs of skin irritation, a large bump or nodule which is irregularly shaped and has a shiny surface, a pink growth with slightly elevated roller border and a flat growth which resembles a scar.
The main cause of this condition is long-term exposure to UV radiation. It typically occurs in people over 50 years of age. The cancerous growth can get quite big, but the cancer is highly unlikely to spread to other parts and organs of the body.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This type of skin cancer is not as widely spread as basal cell carcinoma, but it is fairly common as well. It affects the cells in the upper layers of the skin. It can manifest itself in different ways. The possible symptoms include persistent scaly red patch with irregular borders, elevated growth with a depression in the centre with the depression bleeding occasionally, an open sore which keeps bleeding and crusting in cycles, growth which looks like a wart, but gets crusty and bleeds from time to time.
Squamous cell carcinoma is caused by frequent and persistent exposure to UV radiation. It is most likely to appear in the parts of the skin which are exposed to sunlight. Still, it may appear in the genital area as well. If the tumour is allowed to grow, this condition can be deadly.
There are other less common types of non-melanoma cancer affecting the skin. Merkel cell carcinoma affects these particular cells and grows very quickly. It is caused by exposure to UV radiation. The most common symptom is a bump on the skin. It can be pink, red or purple. It may open or bleed.
If you notice any bothering symptoms which may signal non-melanoma skin cancer, you need to report them to a dermatologist immediately.