There are several types of skin cancer, and most of them are caused by exposure to the ultraviolet rays of direct sunlight or tanning beds. Even winter sunlight can be just as harmful. The two main types of non-melanoma skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). A person who has a long history of sunburn may be the most at-risk of developing basal cell. Both SCC and BCC can be highly curable if they are treated early. Melanoma is the third type. The majority of deaths from skin cancer may be caused by melanoma because if it is not treated, it can spread to other organs in the body.
Skin cancer is one of the most widespread forms of cancer and consists of rapidly growing skin cells that usually form a tumor that is either malignant or benign. Children who receive regular sunburn before the age of 18 may have a higher risk of developing melanoma later in life.
Some other causes of skin cancer may consist of repeated X-rays, exposure to certain chemicals on a regular basis, such as at work, and scars from burns.
Anyone can develop skin cancer, but people with freckled or very fair skin that burns easily from sun exposure, as well as people with light eyes and red or blonde hair, may be more at risk than others. Darker skinned people may also develop skin cancer, but the risk is much lower.
There are other risk factors aside from skin color, such as heredity, working outdoors or living in a sunny climate. Many irregularly shaped moles are also risk factors.
Basal and squamous cell skin cancers start in the basal and squamous skin cells respectively. They are usually found on the parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, lips, ears and back of the hands. These types of skin cancer grow slowly, and BCC rarely spreads to other organs, but SCC may spread because it grows in the deeper layers of the skin.
There are other types of skin cancer that are very rare. These may include Merkle cell carcinoma, Kaposi sarcoma, skin lymphoma and adnexal tumors.
If you are considering excision of skin cancer, moles or other lesions, you can have a consultation with our expert at Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery to determine how we can help you. We proudly serve the Melbourne area, with offices conveniently located in Moonee Ponds and Werribee. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more about our skin cancer and mole removal procedures.