Skin cancer is a potentially life threatening disease with an increase in new affected patients over the last century. A change of this trend is not to be expected in the near future. On the contrary, the numbers of new diagnosis are expected to increase even more. In general, the most common types of skin cancer are divided in melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. This division is debated controversially by experts.
The tumor types that are included under this term are:
- melanomas are usually darkly pigmented. This is the type with the highest risk of mortality as seeding of tumor cells (i.e. metastasis) is possible even after complete excision.
- basaliomas (or basal cell carcinomas) and squamous cell carcinomas belong to the so called non-melanoma skin cancer. They are commonly skin cancered and a complete excision is sufficient.
- squamous cell carcinomas can evolve from precanverous lesions such as actinic keratosis or de novo. Analogous to basaliomas, complete removal is sufficient.
Common non-cancerous tumors of the skin
Fortunately, most alterations on the skin are benign and do not require treatment. Those are the most common types of benign lesions:
- seborrhoic keratosis (“age spots”)
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