Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

CURE, Summer 2011, Volume 10, Issue 2

The skin is vulnerable to several types of skin cancer.

The skin, as the body's largest organ, is vulnerable to other types of cancer besides melanoma. They are typically less fatal, with fewer than 1,000 deaths among more than 1 million diagnoses in 2010. But nonmelanoma skin cancer does require treatment, most frequently surgery, and close monitoring.

BASAL CELL > The most common skin malignancy, it starts in the cells that form the base of the epidermis. Cancer usually forms on sun-exposed parts of the body, most frequently the face. It usually does not spread elsewhere in the body.

SQUAMOUS CELL > This malignancy, which develops in cells that form the skin's surface, also is most likely to appear in sun-exposed areas, such as the ears, the lower lip and the back of the hands. The cancer may spread to nearby lymph nodes.