Although there are several sorts of skin cancer, the two most usual are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Early treatment is of utmost importance and usually brings positive results with treatment. There is a third significant form of skin cancer called malignant melanoma, and this disease is critical.

Basel Cell Carcinoma

Basel Cell is the most common type of skin cancer. It seems to appear in and around the age of 40 and later. If you are fair skinned, or perhaps a red or blonde-haired person you may be more susceptible to this type of malignancy. It is unusual in the fact that it may be present for a long period before it begins to enlarge resulting in cell damage and consequently an ulcerated area that expands and slowly kills tissue. There are times when the carcinoma will be found on the chest or back, which may appear as a flat sore and will grow slowly. One may first notice a small mass, whitish in color, which can be found often on the facial area. The lump will remain somewhat the same for several weeks and then eventually become ulcerated with an inflamed center and a compact, firm, boundary with a tendency to bleed. The area will form a covering or “scab,” which will come off, however will refuse to heal.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In the case of Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the underlying collateral cells are injured and a tumor or collection of firm tissue will evolve especially on the ears, hands and face, and at times on the lower lip. This lump will appear to be somewhat like a small wart but will relentlessly refuse to leave. This form of cancer is more prominent in fair-skinned men age 60 and over. Those who have worked jobs outside for long periods, exposed to the sun are prone to this form of cancer. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is less aggressive on skin, and more aggressive if found on the ears or lower lip.

The major ingredient for having Basel Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma is exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. The normal genetic formulas of the skin cells are disturbed from the strong UV rays of the sun and thus, ravage the skin cells along with the system that normally repairs the tissue. This system of repair will, as a general rule cause damaged cell to stop propagating, die and be replaced by brand new healthy skin. The repair system being lessened allows damaged cells to reproduce, and bring about a cycle of injury and the possibility of cancer.

Those of us who have had severe blistering sunburns especially as youngsters will have a greater chance in adulthood of developing the disease. Again those who are fair skinned with red or blond hair, and green or blue eyes have a tendency to freckle and have less of the insulating pigment in their skin and are at an increased risk.

Malignant Melanoma

This is a very serious disease, however it is more rare than the two previously mentioned. A tumor will grow from the deep layers of the skin that produce pigment cells. More than half begins in moles. There is a tendency in families to develop melanoma. They may have moles that are shaped oddly, are irregular and unusual in color. The size ranges from a half inch in diameter and smaller. Four types of melanoma are as follows:

Nodular Melanoma

This melanoma is one that brutalizes the underlying tissue and at first is noticed on the outer layer of the skin. More usual in men, the ulcers may look like blood blisters and may be a bluish black to an iridescent white in color. This form spreads soon to other areas of the body.