What is Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer?

shutterstock_134285489-203x300 What is Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer? Houston DermatologistNon-melanoma skin cancer initiates in the cells of the skin. A malignant (cancerous) growth refers to a group of cancer cells that can develop into and destroy the surrounding tissue.

It can also metastasize (spread) to other areas of this body. However, this is a rare occurrence with non-melanoma skin cancer.

Texas Surgical Dermatology, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen, provides medical and cosmetic dermatology procedures to patients in Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and surrounding locations.


Types of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

There are two primary types of non-melanoma skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)


Basal Cell Carcinoma

BCC is the most commonly occurring type of skin cancer and comprises 75 to 80 percent of all skin cancers.

BCC initiates in basal cells of the skin, which are circular cells found in the top or outer skin layer (epidermis). This type of cancer tends to grow slowly, and it rarely spreads to other areas of the body. However, it may grow into surrounding tissue if left untreated.

BCC commonly develops on the face, head, and neck areas. It is usually diagnosed in middle-aged or older individuals. However, it can also occur in younger people.

There are various subtypes of BCC, including:

Nodular BCC is the most commonly occurring subtype. It often develops in facial areas that are exposed to the sun. Nodular BCC has the appearance of a round, elevated, pink, pearly white or red lump or an area with wide blood vessels apparent on top.  


Squamous Cell Carcinoma

SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer. It makes up around 20 percent of all skin cancers.

SCC initiates in squamous cells of the skin. These flat cells are located in the outer part of the dermis. SCC often develops gradually, but faster than BCC. BCC also has a higher likelihood of growing deeper into the skin and spread.

Upon being detected early on and only in the epidermis, SCC is known as SCC in situ. This condition is an early form of SCC and is not typically life-threatening. But if left untreated, SCC in situ may develop into invasive SCC.

This means that the cancer can develop into surrounding tissue or deeper skin layers. SCC in situ is also known as Bowen’s disease or intraepidermal SCC.

SCC often develops on skin areas that are exposed to the sun. While less common, it can also occur on inflamed or injured areas of the skin, such as burns, scars, and sores or ulcers that do not heal. This type of skin cancer can also occur on the skin around the vagina and the anus.

There are various subtypes of SCC, such as desmoplastic SCC and adenosquamous carcinoma of the skin. These types of cancers present a high risk of recurrence after treatment.


Rare Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers

The below mentioned non-melanoma skin cancers occur rarely, and comprise around one percent of all skin cancers:

  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Soft tissue sarcomas, such as dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans and angiosarcoma
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • Microcystic adnexal carcinoma (also known as sweat gland cancer)

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen receives patients from Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and nearby areas for advanced dermatology procedures.
For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of Texas.

Comments are closed.

Contact Us

Texas Surgical Dermatology PA
21009 Kuykendahl Rd, Ste A
Spring, TX 77379

Tel: 832.663.6566
FAX: 832.663.6550