Types of skin cancer

There are three main types of skin cancer:

Superficial-Spreading-Melanoma

Melanoma
Melanoma is the least common but most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma can spread to other parts of the body (such as the liver) and can be fatal if not caught and treated early. The first sign of melanoma is usually a new spot or an existing spot freckle or mole that has changed in size, shape or colour. Melanoma most commonly develops on parts of the body that have exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation such as the head and neck. Melanoma is also commonly found on the back in men and the lower legs in women. However melanoma can develop on any part of the body – including skin that is not exposed to sun light. Diagnosed and treated early, melanoma has a high cure rate. Nodular melanoma appears as a new form of melanoma.

Nodular Melanoma

Nodular melanoma
Nodular melanoma grows quickly and can be life threatening in six to eight weeks if not detected and treated promptly. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma. Nodular melanoma grows quickly and can be life threatening if not detected and treated promptly. Nodular melanoma appears as a new small, round lump on the skin and may be black, brown, pink or red in colour.

Non-melanoma skin cancer
Squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma are referred to as Non-Melanoma skin cancers (NMSC). These skin cancers are much more commonly diagnosed then melanoma.

Squamous-Cell-Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
SCC is not as dangerous as melanoma but can spread to other parts of the body if not treated. Spots on the ears and lips have the highest risk of spreading and should be seen by a doctor immediately. SCCS usually develop on parts of the body that are often exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck and face, hands and arms. SCCs usually appear as a thickened, red and scaly spot that won’t heal.

Basal-Cell-Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
BCC is the most common and least dangerous type of skin cancer. BCC often appears as a lump or scaly area that is red, pale or pearly in colour. BCCs grow slowly and are most commonly found on the ears, nose, face and neck.

The sooner any type of skin cancer is diagnosed the sooner treatment can begin. This means that not only it is more likely that the skin can be cured, but that the treatment required will be less invasive and result in less scarring.

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