Four Types of Skin Cancer

Four Types of Skin Cancer

Four Types of Skin Cancer

Have you noticed a suspicious mole or skin irritation that has been changing colors?  Are you concerned with your risk of skin cancer because of your family medical history?  When you are at risk for skin cancer, you will want to have an established with relationship with a dermatologist or family practitioners in Tampa that understand your medical history and concerns.  The treatment of skin cancers is much easier when they are detected in their early stages, so routine check-ups and skin checks are essential to your health.  There are four types of skin cancer that you should be familiar with.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Over 80% of skin cancers are classified as basil cell carcinoma.  Basal cells refer to the cells that are in the lower layer of your epidermis, which is the outside layer of skin.  Most frequently, these cancers develop in the head and neck, as it is primarily caused by exposure to the sun.  Most cases of basal cell carcinoma are treatable, especially when they are caught in their early stages before the cancer metastasizes.  It may appear as red patches, shiny bumps, open sores, or slightly elevated growths on your skin.  The best way to prevent this type of cancer is to limit your exposure to UV rays.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The second most severe type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, is characterized by the abnormal growth of squamous skin cells.  These are the flat cells that are located on the outermost layer of our skin.  To detect squamous cell carcinoma, look for open sores, thickened, wart-like skin, and raised growths with centralized compressions.  Limiting your exposure to the sun is also the best way to prevent this type of cancer.

Merkel Cell Cancer

This type of cancer is extremely aggressive and quick to spread.  This type of cancer is the rarest, and it typically occurs in those that are age 40 or older.  Merkel cells, which are found at the base of your epidermis, are also connected to the nerve endings responsible for sensation of the skin.  Because Merkel cells are affected by this cancer, it is actually painless, making it more difficult to detect.  One of the best prevention methods is to catch it in its earliest stages, before it spreads to the rest of the body.  Look for any strange flesh-colored or bluish-red nodules on your skin, particularly on your neck.


Melanoma is the most aggressive and dangerous type of skin cancer.  It is more severe because it can spread quickly to other parts of the body, causing damage to many other organs without being detected.  It is most frequently found on the back, neck, head, and torso.  If you notice a change in the sensation of your skin, you will want to get checked out immediately.

These are the four types of skin cancer that can affect you if you have a previous history of cancer in your family, or you have poor skin habits that increase your risk, like frequent sun exposure.  As a dermatology lab that works with various family practitioners in Tampa, we offer quality and time-sensitive lab results so you can treat any diseases quickly after diagnosis.  Contact us to hear more about our lab services today.

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