Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. Learn about the types of skin cancer including melanoma, and how skin cancers are treated here. 

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. There are several different types of skin cancer.

Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that forms from melanocytes.

A melanocyte is a normal cell found in the skin that produces melanin. Melanin is a black or dark pigment that is seen in the skin, hair, and parts of the eye. Melanoma frequently develops from a mole or pigmented lesion.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and can form on the skin (including nail beds, soles of the feet and scalp), in the eye or on mucosal surfaces of the body.

Non-Melanoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer. Basal cell skin cancer occurs in the lower part of the epidermis, or skin, layer. Under a microscope, these cells appear round. Basal cell carcinoma usually develops on skin that is exposed to the sun often, such as skin on the head, neck and face.

Squamous cell carcinoma occurs in the outermost part of the epidermis, or skin surface. Under a microscope, these cells appear flat. Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma also develops on skin that is often exposed to the sun, such as skin on the head, neck and face.