Do you know the different types of skin cancer and their causes? Skin cancer is a dreaded diagnosis but, when caught early, has an excellent cure rate overall.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and also the least dangerous. It forms in basal cells, a type of skin cell that produces new skin cells to replace dead ones.

This type of skin cancer is believed to develop most often from UV radiation from sunlight. Using sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure may help prevent basal cell carcinoma.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is the number two most common type of skin cancer and normally develops on sun-exposed areas of the body or parts of the body exposed to tanning beds. Parts of the skin commonly exposed to UV rays are the head, lips, neck, ears, legs, arms and hands.

SCC grows fairly slowly but can spread to the lymph nodes, bones and tissues. When it reaches this point, it is difficult to treat. But when it is found early, it is easily treatable.

Some of the commons causes or factors contributing to developing SCC are:

* Male
* Older age
* Fair-skinned
* Those with red or blonde hair
* Those who spend time in tanning beds or under tanning bulbs
* Lengthy chemical exposure like arsenic
* Radiation exposure
* Genetics

There are a number of treatment options for SCC, depending upon the severity, location and size. Excision involves physically removing the cancer, along with some healthy skin surrounding it. Surgery is sometimes used to destroy cancer cells.

Mohs surgery is a highly effective method that involves excision and inspection under a microscope. This technique is often preferred because it destroys cancer cells while leaving nearby healthy cells intact.


Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, forming when DNA damage to skin cells leads to mutations causing skin cells to divide too quickly, developing into malignant tumors. The tumors form in the melanocytes or pigment-producing cells.

Melanoma skin cancer typically looks like moles, and some grow out of moles. Most melanomas are darkly colored black or brown, but they can also be red, pink, blue, purple or white.

The main cause of melanoma skin cancer is UV radiation from sun exposure. It most frequently develops in people with a genetic predisposition to the condition.

When melanoma is detected early, it can almost always be cured. But when left untreated or caught too late, it can spread to other parts of the body and prove fatal.

Treatment Options

Conveniently located in Orlando, Orlando Dermatology offers a variety of treatment options for the different types of skin cancer. During a consultation at our office, our medical professionals can evaluate your condition and come up with a treatment plan that is perfect for your unique situation. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more.

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