Types of Skin Cancer Moles
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
- Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It usually forms on the sun-damaged skin of light-skinned people. The majority of people with BCC are Caucasian, in fact, according to skinsight.com, more than 99 percent of those with BCC are Caucasian women and men, between the ages of 40 and 80. Although BCC generally favors lighter skin, it can develop on anyone of any background.
There are three types of basal cell carcinoma: infiltrating, nodular, and superficial. Symptoms of nodular basal cell carcinoma are moles that are pearly in appearance, skin-colored, or pink bumps located on any part of the skin. Symptoms of infiltrating BCCs are scar-like moles on the skin that can be shiny and can have sores on the surface. Superficial BCCs appear to be pink or red in color with scaly spots and they also have raised edges.
- Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, but it is the most serious. If allowed to spread, it can become deadly. According to skinsight.com, Melanoma cases have increased over recent years, faster than any other cancer. Melanoma begins in the cells that are responsible for producing color in the skin. It begins either as a new or existing mole and, if not treated, it may spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) targets very much the same people as basal cell carcinoma, favoring the fair skinned and middle aged with sun-damaged skin. But unlike the other forms of skin cancer, SCC affects men more than women. If it is not treated soon enough, it will become invasive, destroying tissue and causing health problems; even death. SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer.
- Although not a form of skin cancer, some actinic keratosis can progress into squamous cell carcinoma if not treated early. Those at risk are fair-skinned people; whose skin easily burns in the sun, people with green, blue or hazel eyes and people who have red or blonde hair. People who have HIV, or those who have weakened immune systems from chemotherapy or organ transplants, are also at high risk. Actinic keratosis patches are pink or red, less than an inch in size, and may be thick like a wart, with scales. These moles are usually rough to the touch.
- This is also known as "farmers lip" or "sailors lip," and it usually affects the lower lip. According to skinsight.com, 6 percent to 10 percent of actinic cheilitis cases develop into squamous cell carcinoma. With actinic cheilitis, the growth is often accompanied by dryness and cracking of the skin on the lips. Fair-skinned people, those who use tobacco, men, and the elderly are at highest risk.