The skin cancer is a group of malignant and non-malignant tumors that develop from different skin cells. Each type of skin cancer varies in severity, symptoms, mortality rate, and potential to form metastases. There are several rare forms of this disease, such as Merkel cell carcinoma, dermatofibrosarcoma bulging, t-cell lymphoma, and Kaposi’s sarcoma (Cancer Research UK, 2019). However, the majority of skin cancer cases are represented by the three main types of neoplasms: basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma.
Basal cell cancer or basalioma – this neoplasm is formed from the basal epithelium which is the deepest layer of the dermis. It is the most common kind of skin cancer, comprising almost 75% of all non-melanoma skin cancer cases (Cancer Research UK, 2019). It develops from cells that have a hair follicle, thus it is usually localized on the face – on the nose, forehead, eyelids; however it can also appear anywhere on the body (American Association of Dermatologists, 2022). This creates difficulties in treatment, since the main method is the surgical removal of the neoplasm. Basal cell cancer usually presents with mild symptoms and almost no discomfort to the patient, as it grows less into deep tissues and rarely causes pain. Mortality from basalioma is generally low, and it occurs only in very advanced cases.
Another type of skin cancer is a squamous cell carcinoma. With this kind of cancer, malignant tumor develops from keratocytes, also called the squamous cells of the dermis (Cancer Research UK, 2019). It is characterized by active development and multiple metastases spreading through the lymphatic system. Squamous cell cancer can be located on any part of the body, even the mucous membrane, but localization in areas exposed to sunlight is more typical (American Association of Dermatologists, 2022). The neoplasm affects deep-lying tissues and provokes an inflammatory process, which is accompanied by severe pain in the later stages.
The third type of skin cancer is melanoma which is the most aggressive of all three types. With melanoma, the neoplasm develops from melanocytes – cells of the dermis that produce the skin pigment melanin. Under the influence of carcinogenic factors, these cells begin to divide intensively, forming a tumor. Most often, the cancerous process affects moles and nevi, especially when they are injured (American Association of Dermatologists, 2022). At the beginning of treatment in the early stages, the prognosis for patients is optimistic, but at later stages, melanoma is accompanied by metastases and often leads to death.
American Academy of Dermatology. (2022). Types of skin cancer. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Web.
Cancer Research UK. (2019). Types of skin cancer. Cancer Research UK. Web.