Skin Cancer

This is cancer which is caused due to uncontrolled growth of skin cells. These abnormal cells have an ability to spread to other body parts. This cancer is generally observed on the skin area which is more exposed to the sun. There are few cases where this cancer also affects the skin area that is not exposed to the sun. The most common types of skin cancers are:

  1. Basal cell carcinoma.
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma.
  3. Melanoma carcinoma.

Basal cell and squamous cell are the most common types of skin cancers which are commonly known as non-melanoma. Melanoma is rare skin cancer and more dangerous than other types.

  • Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell or Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer with a lesser element of danger. They are abnormal cells that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which are present in the deepest layer of the epidermis. Basal cell carcinoma would appear like open sores, scars, red patches with pink growths. They are usually caused due to the intensive and constant exposure to the sun rays, especially the ultraviolet rays. This is non-contagious cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma

Causes of Basal cell carcinoma

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of Basal skin carcinoma. DNA present in the skin cells is damaged when ultraviolet rays hit the skin. These DNA contains specific codes that control the growth of the cells. If DNA is damaged, then it leads to basal cell cancer.

Risk Factors of Basal cell carcinoma

  1. Exposure to ultraviolet rays and other radiations.
  2. People with light skin are more affected than people with a darker complexion.
  3. Men are more susceptible to this disease than women.
  4. This disorder attacks the old peoples within the age of 50-60 or above.
  5. Usage of drugs that suppress the immune system.
  6. The family history of skin cancer.

Treatment for Basal cell carcinoma:

There are several treatments available for basal cell skin cancer that mainly depends on the location, type, and severity of the disease. Following are the lists of few commonly used treatments for Basal cell carcinoma:

  1. Affected cells or tissues are removed through surgery.
  2. Cancer cells are killed by freezing in liquid nitrogen.
  3. Application of ointments or creams on scars and patches.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma.

Squamous cell skin cancer also is known as Squamous cell carcinoma. This disorder results from the abnormal growth of unwanted cells in squamous cells. Squamous cell is the uppermost lining of the epidermis. Though it is not a life-threatening disease, it should be treated properly as this could lead to other serious symptoms.

Squamous cell skin cancer

Causes of squamous cell carcinoma:

This disease is caused by damage to the DNA. New cells are generated and old cells are pushed outside forming a rough patch on the skin. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of this disorder.

Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma include:

  1. Open sores on the skin.
  2. Red patches on the skin.
  3. Red sore inside the mouth or on the ears.

Treatment for squamous cell carcinoma:

Squamous cells carcinoma could be completely removed through surgery. Treatments depend upon the location, size, and severity of the disease. Few treatments of squamous cell carcinoma are:

  1.  Laser therapy.
  2. Cryotherapy and curettage
  3. Freezing.
  4. Medications.
  • Melanoma carcinoma.

Melanoma is the rarest and dangerous type of skin cancer. It develops in cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes produce melanin which is responsible for skin color. The exact reason for melanoma is not yet found. Younger women (under the age of 35- 40) are more prone to this disease.


Symptoms of melanoma

This could develop anywhere on the human body such as legs, arms, and face. Few visible symptoms are:

  1. Change in existing mole.
  2. Unusual growth of the skin.

Treatment for melanoma:

Treatment of melanoma generally depends on the severity of the disease. Following are the treatments available for melanoma.

  1. Affected melanocytes are removed through surgery.
  2. Chemotherapy.
  3.  Immunotherapy is used to treat melanoma. IMLYGIC, OPDIVO, KEYTRUDA, and ZELBORAF are Immunotherapy treatment approved by the FDA to treat melanoma skin cancers.

Stay tuned with Byju’s to learn more about common types of skin cancers.

Practise This Question

The function of ureters in excretory system of humans is __________.