Skin Cancer

Types of skin cancer

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 19/10/18

If detected early, all types of skin cancer can be treated. However, if left untreated, skin cancer can spread and become life threatening.

Three types of skin cancer

There are three main types of skin cancer – melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

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Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer – it can spread very quickly and once it penetrates below the surface of the skin it can become deadly. Survival rate is largely dependent on the thickness (depth) of melanoma.

A person with a melanoma of less than 0.75mm thick can expect to have 95% cure rate. If left until greater than 4mm thick, cure rate is less than 55%, which is why it is so important to detect melanoma early.

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Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common cancer in the world. Despite this, very few people die from BCC.

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Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common skin cancer. SCC is more dangerous than basal cell carcinoma because of its ability to spread to other parts of the body.


There are several risk factors that make a person more prone to the different types of skin cancer. These risk factors include:

  • A family history of melanoma or some other skin cancer
  • Sunbed users
  • Having a mole that is changing in shape, size or colour
  • Having a mole that is itching and/or has a history of bleeding
  • Having had or have major sunburns
  • An outdoor lifestyle, spending a lot of time in the sun

Find out your risk here.