Types of skin cancer with specific symptoms and signs

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. New cases are occurring each year. Many people are growing concerned that they are at risk. Being aware of the different types of cancer will help ones to be better educated as to what is going on with their bodies and can lead to more successful treatments. Skin cancer can take on many forms which include the following: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and Kaposi’s sarcoma.

squamous cell carcinoma pictureOne type is called squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma can have its beginnings in actinic keratosis. Lesions usually appear on the face, lips, back of hands, or any area that is exposed to the sun. These lesions are crusty and can look like warts.  If the lesions become more sensitive and thicker in appearance, it is a concern that it may have become the more serious squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer is also prevalent in those that have received transplants.

basal cell carcinoma pictureAnother type is called basal cell carcinoma. This cancer starts in the skin’s basal cells. They may look like pink bumps or patches of red on the skin.  Like squamous cell carcinoma it appears in areas that are most often exposed to the sun. However rarely does basal cell carcinoma spread to other areas of the body, and it has the tendency to be slow growing. Unfortunately once treated, basal cell carcinoma can return to the same area of the body.

melanoma pictureMelanoma is the most dangerous of the skin cancers but less common than either squamous or basal cell carcinoma. It is estimated that in the United Stated alone there is over 100,000 new cases of melanoma a year. Usually it starts as a brown or black lesion on the skin that has irregular color and is asymmetric. However it can be pink, skin-colored, or white. It can start from a mole or be mole like in appearance. The key for successful treatment is early detection and how far the cancer has invaded the skin.

Kaposi's sarcoma pictureKaposi’s sarcoma is a rare skin cancer. It forms lesions that are brown and red in color. This cancer begins to form in the cells in the blood vessels. There are three basic types of kaposi’s sarcoma. The first is called classic. Typically this type is found in people of Middle Eastern, Jewish, or African descent. The second is called immune suppressed related. This type affects transplant patients that are taking immune suppressing medication to accept the transplanted organ. The third is called epidemic.  This type affects people who have AIDS.

Prevention of skin cancer starts with the knowledge of the different forms that it can take. When a person is able to recognize whether he has squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, or Kaposi’s sarcoma, that person will be in a better position to receive treatments as soon as possible.