Basal Cell Carcinoma:
Basal cell carcinoma is the least dangerous and most common of all the skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma occurs mostly in the areas of the skin which received the most exposure to sunlight. Our head and neck are the most commonly affected areas. This cancer grows slowly, and it is rare for these cells to spread or metastasize to other distant parts of our body. Early detection and treatment is crucial.
Patients who have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma are at a very high risk of developing recurrent basal cell carcinoma. Close to 50 percent of patients will experience basal cell carcinoma recurrence within the first 5 years after the first diagnosis. Patients with this skin cancer are at a very high risk of developing additional types of skin cancers.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, accounting for approximately 20% of non-melanoma skin cancers.
These cancers develop flat squamous cells, which are part of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). Squamous cell carcinomas can develop from Actinic Keratosis, which is a type of pre-cancer. It is uncommon for this cancer to spread or metastasize, and generally grows slowly. Dr. Patel recommends early detection and prompt treatment for all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinomas are most commonly discovered on the ears, face, arms and hands. The genital area, scars, and skin ulcers can also develop this type of cancer.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It is the second most common form of cancer in people aged 15-29 years old. Risk factors include: light skin tone, blistering sunburns in childhood, and family history of melanoma. Dr. Patel recommends getting a skin cancer screening annually for those who are at risk.
Rare Skin Cancers
Early detection and prompt treatment to all skin cancers is very important. The following skin cancer types are rare:
Kaposi sarcoma (KS), a herpes virus, is also known as Kaposi sarcoma associated herpes virus. Tumor or lesions will appear on the skin for this type of cancer. The tumors can form in our lungs, digestive tract or even the mouth. Research has shown that most cases in U.S. involves patients infected with HIV. Patients whose immune system is severely compromised may also have this type of cancer.
Lymphoma of the skin, or cutaneous lymphoma, is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In some cases, lymphoma forms in the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small glands scattered throughout the body that produce disease-fighting T-cells and B-cells, which are lymphocytes. Lymphomas can develop in other lymphoid tissues, including skin, bone marrow, and the spleen. Consult Dr. Patel if you notice rashes or bumps on the skin.
Keratoacanthoma are typically benign (non-cancerous) tumors. These tumors grow slowly and can resolve on their own, in most cases. Keratoacanthoma tumors can be treated like a form of squamous cell carcinoma.
Consult with Dr. Tejas Patel at Reforma Dermatology for these types of cancers. Early detection and prompt treatment is crucial for eradication. Annual skin cancer screenings is highly recommended. For patients who have been diagnosed in the past with any type of skin cancer, more frequent screenings should be done to ensure no new skin cancers or recurring skin cancers go unchecked.