Other Skin Cancers

Basal cell carcinoma may have slightly raised edges with a crusty, indented center.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

What it is:

  • Most common type of skin cancer in fair-skinned people
  • More common than all other cancers combined
  • An estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop a basal cell carcinoma in their lifetime1
  • Very strongly associated¬†with chronic sun exposure or sun tanning
  • Usually shows up on the face, ears, scalp, neck, or upper body

Signs:

  • Red patch
  • Pink, red, or white bump that is shiny or pearly
  • Crusty, open sore that will not heal
  • Scar-like area
  • Grows very slowly and usually does not spread to other parts of the body
  • Usually removed with surgery or by freezing the tumor (cryotherapy)

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

What it is:

  • Second-most-common type of skin cancer in fair-skinned people
  • An estimated 200,000 squamous cell carcinomas occur each year2
  • Twice as likely to occur in men as in women
  • Usually appears on the face, neck, arms, scalp, ear, lips, or mouth
  • Like other skin cancers, it is caused by excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun or indoor tanning booths

Signs:

  • Bump or scaly red patch
  • Slow-growing cancer
  • Can spread to other parts of the body; thus, it is important to treat it as early as possible through surgery or radiation therapy
  • When on lips, it is associated with smoking or using chewing tobacco, and has a much higher rate of spreading to other parts of the body

References:

1. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996;35:1012-1013;
2. CA Cancer J Clin. 2008;58;71-96.

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