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Watch Out For Skin Cancer By Using This 3-minute Guide To Get A Basic Know-how Of What It Can Look Like

Skin cancer develops when cancer cells in the skin start to grow uncontrollably. If left untreated, especially with specific types of skin cancer, these cells can infiltrate other organs and tissues. Currently, the most common cancer in the United States is skin cancer, as it affects 1 in 5 Americans, as per the Skin Cancer Foundation. To protect yourself, we explain the different kinds of complications related to skin cancer down below:

Actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis or solar keratosis emerges as a red or pink chapped patch of skin on sun-exposed regions of the body. Primarily, it caused by UV light exposure from sunlight and is the most common kind of precancer. If left untreated, it can grow into squamous cell carcinoma.

Basal cell carcinoma

The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. It comprises around 90% of all skin cancer cases and is mostly develops in the head and neck, as it seldom spreads to other body parts. This slow-growing cancer usually manifests as a raised, pearly, or waxy pink lump on the skin. Oftentimes, it also has a dimple at its center. It can also look translucent with blood vessels close to the skin’s surface.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma attacks cells in the external layer of the epidermis. Normally, it is more threatening than basal cell carcinoma, for it can jump to other parts of the body when left unchecked. You’ll see them as red, flaky, and rough skin sores, usually on sun-exposed regions like the head, hands, and mouth. Identical red patches could be squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen’s disease), which is the earliest type of squamous cell cancer.


Despite melanoma being largely less prevalent than basal and squamous cell carcinoma, it is the most dangerous, causing about 73% of all deaths related to skin cancer. It affects melanocytes or skin cells that produce pigment.

Even though a mole can just be a harmless collection of melanocytes that most of us have, a mole can be suspected of melanoma if it has an asymmetrical shape, border irregularities, inconsistent coloring, diameter of over 6 millimeters, and an ever-changing size or shape.

Kaposi sarcoma

Kaposi sarcoma is another skin cancer (although it’s not usually seen as such) that includes skin lesions, which are often brownish-red to blue in hue. You’ll generally see it on legs and feet, as it damages the cells lining blood vessels near the skin. This cancer is generated by a kind of herpes virus, common in patients with debilitated immune systems like those with AIDS.

People at risk

Although there are various forms of skin cancers out there, most of them share similar risk factors, like prolonged UV ray exposure through sunlight and being above 40 years old. Also, if you have a family history of skin cancers, a fair complexion, and have gone through an organ transplant, you’re more prone to develop some form of skin cancer as well. However, young folks and people with darker complexions can still develop skin cancer.

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