There are three main types of skin cancer. The most common is basal cell carcinoma, while the least common but most dangerous is melanoma. The third type is squamous cell carcinoma. Most skin cancers are totally painless in the early stages, so it is as well to be overly suspicious when it comes to detecting them.
Basal cell carcinoma
These common skin cancers, occurring in 6000 people each year in Australia, normally occur on the face and back. Generally, they are slow-growing, painless, insidious lesions, although there are certain varieties which can be very aggressive. A basal cell carcinoma in the early stages will often look like a red, shiny, persistent pimple, but later may bleed or ulcerate. Any lesion or pimple that doesn’t heal should be regarded as a basal cell carcinoma until proven otherwise and should be brought to your doctor’s attention immediately. The earlier basal cell carcinomas are detected the more quickly they can be removed, causing minimal debility. These cancers can spread locally, but rarely spread to other organs of the body.
Squamous cell carcinoma
These are less common than basal cell carcinomas, and occur on the face and hands. They are red, scaly, thickened lesions which do not disappear. Such lesions should be checked by your doctor, as they can invade and spread to other parts of the body.