Types of Serious Skin Cancer

Although melanoma is the most well-known of skin cancers, other types of skin cancer that can threaten your health should not be overlooked.

Today, let’s learn about the types of serious skin cancer. In addition to the damage caused by excessive sun exposure during the summer months, you need to pay extra attention. The health care industry is  investing in campaigns to promote melanoma awareness . But is melanoma the only serious type of skin cancer?

The sun provides us with many health benefits. Solar radiation is essential for our body to synthesize vitamin D and calcium. And deficiencies in these nutrients can lead to poor bone formation or diseases such as osteoporosis.

However, indiscriminate exposure to the sun’s rays can cause damage to the body and cause problems. It starts as a burn and gets worse over time. 

But the most alarming threat is the carcinogenic effect of ultraviolet light.

Most people already know about the risks of melanoma. But melanoma isn’t the only serious type of skin cancer . Therefore, it is good to learn about other risks besides melanoma so that you can get better at preventing it.

What you need to know about your skin

Is melanoma the only serious type of skin cancer?

The skin is the largest organ in the body. The main function of the skin is to protect us from many threats from the outside world, including bacteria, microbes, extreme temperatures and solar radiation.

  • The skin is composed of various layers and tissues . The topmost layer and visible part is called the epidermis. Below that is the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.
  • Each layer is composed of other types of cells in addition to sweat glands and blood vessels. The epidermis is composed of squamous epithelial cells, basal cells and melanocytes.

types of skin cancer

There are several types of skin cancer. And the name, symptoms, and treatment method vary depending on the location of the outbreak. The medical community divides skin cancer types into two broad groups.

  • In the first group are non-melanomas.
  • In the second group are melanomas.

And both affect epidermal cells.

non-melanoma skin cancer

Types of Non-Melanoma Cancer

It occurs when cancer develops in squamous or basal cells in the epidermis. And most skin cancers are not melanoma.

There are two types of non-melanoma cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Basal Cell Compartment (BCC)

  • It is the most common type of skin cancer in the world.
  • This cancer affects the basal cells found in the deepest layer of the epidermis.
  • It occurs in areas of the body that are most exposed to the sun (face, ears, shoulders, neck).

squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

  • It is the second most common type of skin cancer.
  • This cancer affects squamous cells in the uppermost layer of the epidermis.
  • It is more common in men and usually occurs in areas with more sun exposure.

This non-melanoma cancer has a low risk of mortality or metastasis. They generally respond well to treatment and are easy to diagnose.


Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer . Initially, it affects the melanocytes of the superficial layer of the epidermis, but later the lesions become deeper and denser.

  • Increases the risk of metastasis to other organs.
  • It is important to diagnose melanoma early to increase the chances of a cure.
  • If confirmed in the first stage, excisional surgery removes the tumor with a 90% success rate.

Skin cancer causes and prevention

Causes and Prevention

The main cause of all skin cancers is excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. This is because the sun is the main source of all UVA and UVB rays. But sunlamps and select booths also emit this beam.

Therefore, the best prevention is to use sunscreen and avoid sun exposure during the sun’s strongest hours of the day (between 11am and 4pm) .

Experts also point to other risk factors, such as:

  • Exposure to chemicals such as arsenic, industrial tar and paraffin
  • Excessive exposure to radiation, such as radiation therapy
  • UV light treatment or psoriasis treatment
  • Xeroderma pigmentosa or Kaposi’s disease: a genetic disorder that reduces the skin’s ability to recover from sun damage
  • Basal cell nevus syndrome or Golin syndrome, a congenital disorder that causes multiple malignancies in the basal cells of the epidermis

Don’t forget that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential to maintaining physical health, especially during the summer months, and taking good care of your skin can help boost your natural defenses.

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