Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. It is almost always a result of constant exposure of the sun, especially sunburns. It is more frequently found on those with lighter skin and features, but it can also appear on darker skin. BCC normally develops on body parts that receive daily exposure to the sun- face, ears, neck, back, scalp, and arms. Because BCC takes so long to develop, it is the easiest skin cancer to treat if diagnosed early enough.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer and can be very serious or if left untreated even fatal. It is caused by chronic exposure to sunlight, with the rim of the ear and lower lip especially vulnerable to this type of skin cancer. If left untreated, SCC can penetrate beneath the skin, causing disfigurement and metastisization. Wart-like growths, open sores or scaly patches that cluster and bleed, scaly red patches with irregular borders, are all warning signs of Squamos Cell Carcinoma.
Melanoma may develop in a mole or can appear as a new dark spot on the skin. It is the deadliest and rarest form of skin cancer, which means that early diagnosis and treatment is crucial. People are at higher risk if they have a family history of melanoma, if they have ever had a severe, blistering sunburn in their youth, if they have fair eyes and skin or freckles, and if they often spend time in the sun without sun protection.
Melanoma forms first in the skin cells that make melanin, which gives skin its color. Melanin also protects the deeper layers of the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Melanoma is a result of these melanyocytes growing abnormally.
For men, Melanoma appears most commonly above the waist. For women, it appears most commonly on the lower legs.
BCC and SCC are treated using a variety of different methods: topical medications, scraping off with a curette and tumor desiccation with an electrocautery needle; excision surgery, radiation, Mohs micrographic surgery, cryotherapy, and others methods.
In early stage melanoma, surgical removal is often the only treatment needed. In late satge, other treatments such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be required. If melanoma spreads to distant parts of the body or to other organs, it cannot be cured.