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Get to know the characteristics of skin cancer based on its type

Recognizing the characteristics of skin cancer is not something easy. The reason is, this type of cancer has many types. In addition, the symptoms can overlap with those of other skin cancers. In order not to be mistaken, see the full explanation in the following review.

Get to know the characteristics of skin cancer based on its type

Symptoms of Skin Cancer by Type

In general, there are three types Skin cancer which can occur are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. However, there are also other types of skin cancer that are rare.

To make it easier to do early detection, identify the most common symptoms of skin cancer, including:

1. Melanoma

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer because it tends to spread. This cancer attacks the melanocyte cells that provide color pigment to the skin.

In general, the first sign of melanoma can be a change in an existing mole or a pigmented change in the skin.

In addition, there are several characteristics that are used to assess whether a mole indicates melanoma or not. Here are the characteristics:

  • Irregular or asymmetrical mole shape.
  • Moles have irregular, indented or scalloped borders.
  • Experiencing uneven discoloration.
  • Enlarges to approx. 6 mm.
  • Moles are sometimes accompanied by itching and bleeding.

2. Basal Cell Carcinoma

This skin cancer is most common, especially in someone who has light skin. Basal cell carcinoma usually affects areas of the body that are often exposed to the sun, such as the face or neck.

Some of the characteristics of this type of skin cancer include:

  • Pale white, skin-colored or clear pink lesions. In someone who has a darker skin color, the lesions will be darker, but still clear. Lesions may break open, bleed, and scab. Usually appears on the face and ears.
  • Lesions are brown, black, purplish blue. The lesions may also resemble dark spots that have higher, translucent sides.
  • Flat, scaly lesions with raised sides. The spots can grow quite large over time. Most commonly appears on the back or chest.
  • White, waxy lesions. The shape resembles a scar without a clear border. Such a lesion is called morpheaform basal cell carcinoma and is the least common.

3. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. This skin cancer develops in squamous cells, cells that form the middle and outer layers of the skin.

This cancer often affects areas of the body exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears and hands. However, in people with dark skin, squamous cell carcinoma can occur in areas that are rarely exposed to the sun.

The characteristics of this type of skin cancer include:

  • Red nodules that are firm and hard.
  • Flat lesions with a scaly, crusty surface.
  • A new or raised area over an old scar.
  • In the lip area, it can be a rough, scaly patch that often becomes an open sore.
  • In the area of ​​the oral cavity, the lesions can be red and rough patches.
  • In the area around the anus and genitals, the lesions are in the form of red spots and wart-like nodules.

4. Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis is not a common type of skin cancer, but is a precancerous skin growth that can eventually turn into a type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma.

This condition occurs when spots, dry patches, and scales appear on the skin. The reason could be because the skin is too long exposed to sunlight.

Also Read: 7 Important Vitamins Consumed To Keep Skin Healthy

5. Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a type of skin cancer that starts in the connective tissue cells in the middle layer of skin or the dermis. This skin cancer is a very rare type.

DFSP is slow growing and rarely spreads beyond the skin. Even so, treatment is still needed. If not, DFSP can grow into fat, muscle, and bone.

This sign of skin cancer is in the form of small lumps on the skin that resemble pimple. You can also observe the shape that looks like a scar. The symptoms can also resemble birthmarks in children.

6. Kaposi Sarcoma

This type of cancer is rare and can develop in the blood vessels of the skin. It is characterized by red or purplish patches on the skin or mucous membranes.

The cause of this condition is often related to a low immune system, for example in people who suffer from it AIDS.

7. Merkel Cell Carcinoma

This type of skin cancer is rare, but the number is predicted to increase, especially in people who are 50 years of age or older and have fair skin.

This condition is characterized by hard, shiny nodules that often appear under the skin or hair follicles.

8. Sebaceous Carcinoma

Sebaceous carcinoma is a rare type of cancer. Even so, this cancer is aggressive because it can spread.

In general, this skin cancer starts from the eyelids. You may notice a lump that is painless, round, and firmly attached to the upper or lower eyelid.

Also Read: 9 Causes of Dry Skin to Watch Out For

When is the Right Time to See a Doctor?

Symptoms of skin cancer are very diverse. Therefore, an examination is needed to determine whether the condition is cancerous or not.

We recommend that you immediately consult a doctor if you experience conditions such as the following:

  • There are skin changes that look unusual.
  • There is a wound or scab that does not heal within 2 months.
  • There are flat patches or scaly skin that do not heal within 2 months.
  • The appearance of new growths on the skin (such as moles).
  • There is an abnormal change in an existing mole.
  • Spots, lumps, or moles that are unnatural in size, shape, color, less defined edges, and bleed easily.

In the end, recognizing the characteristics of skin cancer based on its type is very important. The reason is, each type has different risks and requires different treatment.

Apart from carrying out a physical examination and looking at the symptoms, the doctor will also carry out several other tests to confirm the diagnosis of skin cancer.

  1. Anonymous. Squamous Cell Carcinoma Overview. (Accessed 8 February 2023).
  2. Anonymous. Skin Cancer Types: Basal Cell Carcinoma Overview. (Accessed 8 February 2023).
  3. Anonymous. Skin Cancer Types: Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans Overview. (Accessed 8 February 2023).
  4. Anonymous. Skin Cancer Types: Merkel Cell Carcinoma Overview. (Accessed 8 February 2023).
  5. Anonymous. Skin Cancer Types: Sebaceous Carcinoma Overview. (Accessed 8 February 2023).
  6. Anonymous. Types of Skin Cancer. (Accessed 8 February 2023).
  7. Anonymous. 2021. Basal Cell Carcinoma. (Accessed 8 February 2023).
  8. Anonymous. 2022. Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer. (Accessed 8 February 2023).
  9. Anonymous. 2022. Skin Cancer. (Accessed 8 February 2023).

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