Skin cancer is one of the many types of cancer that is prevalent today. There are several types of skin cancer. The most common types of skin cancer are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Of the three types of skin cancer, melanoma is not as prevalent as the other types of skin cancer. However, it is the most well known one as it is responsible for most deaths that arise from skin cancer. Among the types of skin cancer, melanoma is difficult to treat, where the most effective treatment option lies in removing the affected part of skin. However, the removal of the skin proves to be effective only if it is done at the inception of melanoma. Statistics show that though 160,000 new melanoma cases are recorded each year, about 48,000 people die from it every year.
Melanoma is caused by exposure to the sun and is significant if a person has suffered a bad case of sunburn in childhood. It is the white males who are most prone to melanoma than any other group while people living in sunny climates are at a higher risk. Genetic risk factor also affects the occurrence of melanoma. Changes in skin moles usually signify melanoma. If you see any change in the size, color or shape of a mole, alert your doctor about it. Even if the mole starts itching or bleeding, you should approach your doctor. And if your family has a history of melanoma, you should have an annual examination for skin cancer as a preventative measure.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
The next of the types of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma which is a tumor in the epithelium cells. It can occur anywhere in the body, including lungs, mouth and cervix and thus comprises about 20% of skin cancer cases. Continuous exposure to sunlight for a long period of time may lead to squamous cell carcinoma. If squamous cell carcinoma is suspected in an area, a biopsy is done and if the test turns out to be positive, the area is removed surgically.
Basal Cell Carcinoma:
Among the three types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma is known to occur in people with fair skin who have been exposed to the sun. As this type of skin cancer also occurs in areas that are not exposed to the sun, it is suspected that a genetic component is also responsible for basal cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that rarely causes death, and can successfully be treated in most cases. However if basal cell carcinoma occurs in the nose, lips, ears or eyes, there is the possibility of disfiguration.