Types of Skin Cancers

Skin cancers can be broadly categorised into melanomas and non-melanoma skin cancers. Melanomas which many are familiar with are typically coal black in colour but they can also be salmon pink, red or even bluish tinged. Some melanomas are not much different in colour to normal skin. All melanomas not matter what colour are exceedingly serious and advanced melanomas can be life-threatening.

Other non-melanoma skin cancers fall largely into two groups, the crusted skin lesions known as squamous cell cancers or SCCs arising from the most superficial or topmost layer of the skin and the basal cell cancers or BCCs which are typically pearly or nodular in appearance arising from the deep basal regenerative layer of the skin. These are general descriptions and there are skin cancers of both types which look like the other. The most important clinical characteristic is that they are less serious in most cases than melanoma. For squamous cell and basal cell cancers simple surgical removal or excision with adequate margins is enough and the recurrence rate is neglible.

There are rarer forms of skin cancers arising from skin appendages such as hair shafts and connective tissue structures in the skin but all these other cancers or lesions are less common and in most circumstances exceedingly rare.