Types of Skin Cancer

Last modified on June 21st, 2018

Types of Skin Cancer

The two most common types of skin cancer are:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Squamous cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma

These make up more than 90% of all skin cancers. They are slow-growing, and seldom spread. However, if left untreated, they can spread and invade bone and other tissues under the skin.


Squamous cell carcinoma

These tend to be more agressive, and may also spread to local lymph glands or elsewhere in the body. When they are found early, they can almost always be cured.

Other types

Actinic (solar) keratosis

A precancerous condition that can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. It appears as rough, red or brown, scaly patches on the skin. They are often more easily felt than seen.

Like skin cancer, actinic keratosis usually is found on sun-exposed areas of the body, but it can be found on other parts of the body as well.


A cancer that begins in the cells which produce skin pigment. It is less common than basal or squamous cell skin cancers, but it is more dangerous and can be deadly.

If caught early, there is nearly a 97% chance for cure.