What is Skin Cancer?

Amongst others, skin cancer is one of the most common cancer in the United States. According to American Academy of Dermatology, at least 9500 people get diagnosed with skin cancer on a daily basis in the United States. Skin cancer has a number of types and according to which the treatment can vary from person to person. The types of skin cancers are as follows:

  • Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancer
  • Melanoma Skin Cancer
  • Merkel Cell Skin Cancer
  • Lymphoma of the Skin
  • Kaposi Sarcoma

In the following, we will be discussing Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancer only.

  1. Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

In the upper layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis, there are three types of cells:

  • Squamous cells
  • Basal cells
  • Melanocytes

Squamous cells are present on the external side of the epidermis while basal cells are present at the lower end of the epidermis. Melanocytes, also known as melanin, are the reason behind the sort of color that our skin gets- whether brown or tan etc. Melanin cells are the reason because of which the internal layers of the skin remain protected. Melanin is also known as the natural sunscreen of the body.

1. Basel Skin Cancer

In Basel Skin Cancer, cancerous cells grow in the lower part of the epidermis. Cancer usually develops on those parts of the skin which are mostly exposed towards the sun such as head, neck etc.

Usually, cells in such part of the body don’t spread or grow on other parts of the body. However, if left untreated then there’s a possibility that these can outgrow on other parts of the body.

2. Squamous Skin Cancer

In Squamous Skin Cancer, cancerous cells grow at the outer part of the epidermis. Such type of cancer usually develops on the areas like neck, ears, face, lips or back side of the hands.

Squamous cancer cells are likely to spread to other parts of the body as well as compared to basal skin.

3. Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma cancer, also known as malignant melanoma and cutaneous melanoma. Cells of such cancer type start spreading in melanocytes.

Usually, such cancer starts spreading in areas like chest and back in the males whereas, in women, it appears on the legs. Other than these specific areas, cancer can spread in neck and face as well.

Risk Factors of Basal and Squamous Skin Cancer

The risk factors of such kind of cancers are as follows:

  • One of the reasons for becoming a victim of such kind of cancer is exposure of ultraviolet rays to the skin.
  • The risk factor is increased if the skin tone of the individuals is light.
  • Age factor can also become the cause of getting skin cancer.
  • People who are exposed to specific chemicals such as arsenic etc are much more likely to become a victim of skin cancer.
  • It is noted that males are more vulnerable to such cancers because of being exposed to more sun exposure.
  • Radiations can also cause cancerous cells to spread in the body. Hence, people with previous radiation treatment can become a victim.
  • Certain treatments or hereditary conditions, such as psoriasis treatment or xeroderma pigmentosum, can also increment the chances of skin cancer.
  • Weak immune system and smoking are also amongst the causes of skin cancer.


There are a number of options via which Basal and Squamous Skin Cancer can be treated. The options are mentioned as follows:

  • Basal Cancer can also be treated via surgery
  • The second option is to go through radiation therapy
  • The third option of treatment is opting for some local kinds of therapy such as cryotherapy (aka cryosurgery) or Photodynamic therapy (aka PDT)


  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/basal-and-squamous-cell-skin-cancer.html
  • https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/skin-cancer
  • https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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