Skin cancer refer to a group of diseases marked by uncontrolled growth and spread of skin cells. Incidences of skin cancer has increased substantially over the last few decades. One in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer. There are three main types of skin cancers: basal-cell skin cancer (BCC), squamous-cell skin cancer (SCC) and melanoma.
Skin cancer mainly affect areas of the skin that have been exposed to the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer. Prolonged sun exposure causes basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer; episodes of severe sunburns can cause melanoma. Other skin cancer causes are – repeated exposure to X-ray, scars from burns and occupational exposure to certain chemicals.



Skin cancer is diagnosed by physical examination and biopsy.

  • Skin Examination – Doctor may look at your skin to determine whether the skin changes are likely to be skin cancer. Further testing may be suggested to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Skin biopsy – Your doctor may take a sample of suspicious-looking skin for lab testing. A biopsy can suggest whether you have skin cancer and, if so, what type of skin cancer you have.

Treatment Options

Treatment of Skin cancer depends factors like age and general health, the type and size of cancer and the extent to which it has spread on other parts of the body.


Types of treatment include:

  • Surgery
  • Freezing
  • Scraping
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy

What does skin cancer look like?

Basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common type of skin cancer. It looks like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump, or pinkish patch of skin.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
This is the most common type of skin cancer.

  • BCC frequently develops in people who have fair skin. People who have skin of color also get this skin cancer.
  • BCCs often look like a flesh-colored round growth, pearl-like bump, or a pinkish patch of skin.
  • BCCs usually develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.
  • BCCs are common on the head, neck, and arms; however, they can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC are important. BCC can grow deep. Allowed to grow, it can penetrate the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.

Squamous cell carcinoma: The second most common type of skin cancer. Often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin
SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer.

  • People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC. This skin cancer also develops in people who have darker skin.
  • SCC often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
  • SCC tends to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back.
  • SCC can grow deep into the skin, causing damage and disfigurement.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent SCC from growing deep and spreading to other areas of the body.

Actinic keratoses: These dry, scaly patches or spots are precancerous growths.SCCH can develop from a precancerous skin growth Some people develop dry, scaly patches or spots on their skin called actinic keratoses (AKs). Also caused by too much sun, an AK isn’t skin cancer. An AK is a precancerous skin growth that can turn


Risk Factors

  • People with certain skin conditions such as Solar keratosis, Xeroderma pigmentosum, Psoriasis treatment, and Eczema treatment are more likely to develop skin cancer.
  • Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Symptoms of melanoma appear as a new spot or an existing spot that changes in color, size or shape. Melanoma can develop on skin not normally exposed to the sun.


  • Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma appear as thickened, red scaly spot that may bleed easily. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of skin cancer. Symptoms include red, pale or pearly in color lump in skin.
  • Indians are better protected against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays due to their brown skins, and higher concentration of melanin. Reducing factors under your control such as limiting exposure to direct sunlight may help lower your risk of skin cancer, including melanoma. Regular skin examinations may help spot a developing skin cancer early, when it is most treatable.
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