Skin cancer occurs when cells in the skin grow at an abnormal rate. It can be scary to get a cancer diagnosis, but informing yourself about the peculiarities of each type of cancer can help ease your worry. For instance, some types of skin cancer, such as Teaneck squamous cell carcinoma, are highly treatable.
Talking to your medical specialist if you notice abnormalities on your skin is critical as you will get an accurate diagnosis and prognosis. Keep reading to learn about the different kinds of skin cancer.
Squamous Cell Skin Cancer
Squamous cell skin cancer is one of the most common skin cancers. It happens when the flat cells on the outer part of the epidermis, known as the squamous cells, start growing too fast. Naturally, these cells are replaced at a very high rate, but they are produced at a much higher rate with cancer.
Usually, this cancer starts in the parts of the skin that are typically exposed to the sun, such as the face, arms, and scalp. In people with darker skin, this cancer often starts in areas without sun exposure.
One of the tell-tale signs of squamous cell skin cancer is finding flat lesions or red, hard nodules on your skin. But not every lesion indicates the presence of cancer, so talk to your physician first to get a proper diagnosis.
Although this type of cancer is very common, it is not particularly aggressive. It does not spread to other parts of the body rapidly. It is also highly treatable.
Merkel Cell Skin Cancer
Merkel skin cancer originates from the Merkel cells, located at the epidermis’s base. They have common features with hormone-making and nerve cells, which is why they are also called neuroendocrine cells.
Merkel skin cancer is very rare but is also one of the more aggressive types. It spreads very quickly, breaking the skin barrier and going to other areas of the body. When this happens, treating this cancer becomes much harder.
This cancer often starts as shiny lumps and bumps on the skin. Sometimes, these lumps develop into open wounds. Even though these lumps may look painful, they don’t usually hurt much.
Melanoma Skin Cancer
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer caused by the abnormally rapid growth of melanocytes, the skin cells that give it color. This cancer spreads rather quickly and is generally hard to treat.
People with darker skin are less likely to develop melanoma, although they can still get it. In lighter-skinned people, the cancer starts on the torso in men and on the lower legs in women. In darker people, it may start in areas not typically covered in melanin, like the hands, soles of feet, and beneath the nails.
Melanoma starts with clusters of black or brown tumors. If you notice them, bring them to your physician’s attention immediately.
This type of skin cancer develops from cells that line the lymph and blood vessels. It is an opportunistic cancer that often occurs in people with a weakened immune system. The cancer is characterized by tumors, which can be purple, red, or brown. Although they may look painful, they don’t usually hurt.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Early detection goes a long way in making treatment successful. Be sure to talk to your doctor promptly if you see any abnormalities on your skin.