Know the 3 types of skin cancer; one is aggressive and deadly

Of all the types of skin cancer, melanoma cancer is the third most common following basal cell cancer and squamous cell skin cancer.

Malignant melanoma is mentioned here first …because it is the most deadly.

Malignant melanoma is not ceasing to find new victims, especially among teen-age girls and young adult women.

You could be walking around with melanoma totally undetected or you may have one of the other more common skin cancers, which are basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma ---in that order.

Dangers exist with all of these skin cancers and melanoma cancer leads the threat.

All of these skin cancers can be safely removed in the early stages!

That is why everyone, absolutely everyone, should learn how to identify skin cancer by being aware and watching any suspicious growths or changes on your skin.

What does melanoma look like? Below you’ll see a picture of melanoma.

But first, let’s look at these three types of skin cancer and then cover some rare types.

The 3 types of skin cancer most common are:

1. Basal cell cancer – The most common -usually appears innocently, often going unnoticed. It may or may not present itself just as seen in the picture. It grows slowly and seldom spreads.
I had one that looked like the picture before I learned about different types of skin cancer. I would scratch it and it would bleed, then never really heal. As I researched more about skin cancer, I decided it was suspicious and saw a dermatologist. He did a biopsy and found it to be cancerous. A short time later he did Mohs surgery.
To my surprise, it had traveled about 3 inches on my face, unseen. It was 100% removed and the scar healed totally after 3-4 weeks. I cannot even see any scar now.
It doesn’t always happen that way. If it is left undetected for a long time, cosmetic surgery may be necessary for some. Depending on a number of risk factors, there may be a chance of recurrence.

See more info and basal cell carcinoma pictures.

2. Squamous cell skin cancer – Squamous skin cancer is the second most common. It also grows slowly and can be hard to detect in the early stages.
It may be detected in its precancerous stage (Actinic Keratosis). In this stage it can be felt as rough scaly skin as you rub your fingers over it. It still may be hard to actually notice. As it develops, it usually stays local but can grow inward to vital organs.
My own experience with squamous cell carcinoma was one of those rare cases that it travelled inward and spread from a tiny lump on my neck …inward to my tonsils and the other side of my neck. The cancer grew to a stage 4 and became critical. Having the right information (which I didn’t at the time), I would have made different choices that could have been stopped the spreading and causing the damage it did.
Read the information and don’t let this happen to you. 

Learn and see more squamous cell carcinoma pictures.

3. Melanoma cancer – Melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer and is often undetected in the early stage.
Because of this threat, it is imperative for you to know what melanoma skin cancer looks like and know something about it. Always be watching for any changes in moles by learning the five signs of skin cancer.
Most moles are benign (noncancerous) but do have the potential to become malignant (cancerous). Once it is malignant, it is life threatening and aggressive and could be travelling inward to lymph nodes and internal organs before it is ever detected.
Here’s what you should be doing.
See a skin cancer dermatologist for a full body screening and repeat this once a year. Do it more often if your doctor recommends it or you see something suspicious happening on your skin by doing your own self-skin exam, at least once a month.

For more malignant melanoma pictures and info, click here.

See more pictures of the three common types of skin cancer.

Further information on the types of skin cancer from The National Cancer Institute.

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Other types of melanoma cancer

Amelanotic Melanoma
Superficial Spreading Melanoma
Nodular Melanoma
Lentigo Maligna Melanoma
Acral Lentiginous Melanoma

Rare types of skin cancer

  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma is one of the aggressive types of skin cancer. It mostly occurs in Caucasians over the age of 50. There are roughly 1500 cases found per year in the United States. It’s about 40 times less common than melanoma. It usually occurs on parts of the skin that are exposed more to the sun. It’s a firm flesh colored to red or blue bump. It grows rapidly and the overlaying skin breaks down. Merkel cell carcinoma has the potential to be deadly and requires prompt and aggressive treatment.

  • Kaposi’s Sarcoma is caused by the herpes virus. It shows up as patches of abnormal tissue growing under the skin. It shows as red or purple and is made up of cancer cells and blood cells. It can be painful and cause serious problems. Kaposi’s sarcoma can also become life threatening when lesions occur in the lungs, liver or digestive tract. It can cause internal bleeding and if it has spread to the lungs, can make breathing hard.

  • Sebaceous Gland Carcinoma is one of the rarest and aggressive types of skin cancer. It appears as a hard small rounded mass or lump (nodule) and is painless. It occurs mostly on the eyelid but can develop anywhere. There is a significant tendency for it to reoccur locally and also metastasize in other areas of the body. Sebaceous gland carcinoma is most often found in women over 70 years of age and is often misdiagnosed as a benign condition.

  • Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans is a type of tumor that is extremely rare and begins as a knot or lump in the skin. It rarely spreads and grows slowly. It usually affects men and women alike from age 20 to 40. It is most effectively treated with Mohs Surgery. Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans has a high recurrence rate and a very low chance of spreading.

A word from Gary:

None of us are expected to know all there is about skin cancer. That can be left for the dermatologists and specialists.

What you do need is to have concern for your own health and well-being and that of your family and loved ones.

Don’t leave this site without learning the five signs of skin cancer and how to do a self-skin exam in order to identify possible skin cancer and suspicious spots on your skin.

Just looking at some of those pictures shown above ought to be enough to see how serious skin cancer can be.

I know from experience as my squamous cell carcinoma travelled inward from my neck to my throat/tonsils and then to the other side of my neck, reaching stage 4.

You can read my story.

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Skin Cancer Pictures

Gary's Personal Story

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Our Cancer Stories are so Similar Mine and Gary's -by Valerie
Skin Cancer Warning Signs
Mole Cancers
Skin Cancer Survivor Stories
Five Signs of Skin Cancer
Cancerous Moles
Actual History of Skin Cancer
Types of Skin Cancer
Support Groups for Cancer
Amelanotic Melanoma
Updated July 1, 2015


Hi! My name is Nick and I’m 56 yrs. old and this is part of my story. Let me tell you, I was like a lot of people out there and I had no idea that skin cancer was anything bad. I had Basal cell back in 2007, but that was no big deal and it was removed and that was the end of that. No one told me that it was a type of skin cancer (I looked it up on my computer). But still no big deal, it would not kill me.
But I did know the word "Melanoma"....." --by Nick

Read more of Nick's Story

Scared to Death!!! - by Shelly

Our Cancer Stories are so similar, mine and Gary's! - by Valerie  

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Bottom Line
The Weather Channel has done well posting this information and photos to help you spot skin cancer, including melanoma.
It can be hard to spot, even for a professional.
The bottom line is to get an expert's opinion about any suspicious mole or lesion on your skin. If necessary, get a second opinion  and/or request a biopsy. it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t put your very life at risk!