1. Skin carcinoma (Non-melanoma of skin):
By definition, skin carcinoma are tumors of epithelial origin. As the prognosis is good (survival rate higher than 95%), it is basically not known among the population even though more than 5,000 people worldwide die of this disease every month. Two main forms of skin carcinoma are differentiated as: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. It develops from the deeper layer of the epidermis because of DNA damage coming from exposure to UV radiation from sun or indoor tanning. Since BCCs grow slowly and rarely spread beyond the original tumor site, most of them are curable with minimal damage. But if they are allowed to grow and left untreated for a while, BCC can be disfiguring and dangerous. Gold standard treatment of BCC is usually surgery (named Mohs Surgery) to remove the tumors and a small margin around it.
Squamous Cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. Though the prognosis is very good (death rate around 1%), SCC kill twice as many as melanoma in the US. SCC develop at the expense of the epidermis, in scars, skin sores or other areas of skin injury that most often are exposed to UV radiation (sun). When found and treated early, most SCC can be cured. Once again, the gold standard is surgery. Nevertheless, if SCC is more advanced, it becomes harder to treat and more dangerous as it is capable of spreading to lymph nodes, distant tissues, and organs. In those cases, radiotherapy and immunotherapy complete the array of tools at the doctor’s disposal (9,10).