Cancers from basal cells are basal cell carcinomas. Cancers arising from flat cells in the outer skin of the skin are squamous cell carcinomas. There are also skin cancers arising from neuroendocrine cells that respond by producing stimulating hormones from the nervous system. Skin cancers occur in older ages, in sun-exposed areas, or in people with weakened immune systems. Skin cancers are the most common type of cancer. About half of all cancer cases are skin cancers.

Although the number of basal and squamous cell carcinomas is not known precisely, it is estimated that one million new cases will be detected every year in the USA. Basal cell cancers are more common, with 800,000 to 900,000 of these cases being basal cell cancers and 200,000 to 300,000 of squamous cell cancers. Skin cancers do not often cause death. Although it is the most common type of cancer, it is the least cause of cancer-related deaths. Due to non-melanoma skin cancers, there are between 1000 and 2000 deaths each year in the United States. Most of the patients who die are those who are old and have not been treated adequately. The other deaths are organ transplantation and immunocompromised patients. Skin cancer is cancer caused by excessive and uncontrolled growth of cells, resulting from skin layers. The outer skin of the skin is called the epidermis and the inner layer below it is called the dermis. There are three types of cells (flat cells, basal cells and melanocytes) in the epidermis, the outermost being flat cells. Melanocytes are melanin pigmented cells that give skin color. When exposed to too much sun, more melanin pigmentation is done and skin color becomes darker.

Risk Factor

* Skin color and exposure to sunlight increase non-melanoma skin cancer and actinic keratosis.

* Risk factors for basal cell and squamous cell cancers;

* Exposure to natural or artificial excessive sunlight

* Blonde, blue or green eyes, freckles

* Burns or scars on the skin

* Arsenic exposure

* Chronic skin infections or skin ulcers

* To have received radiotherapy

* To be receiving immunosuppressive medication for organ transplantation or other reasons

Actinic keratosis

* If you have these risk factors, you should discuss this with your doctor.

Some other risk factors are;

Age: The risk of skin cancer increases with age. This may be due to the increase in exposure to sunlight with age.

Male Gender: In men, basal cell skin cancer is two times more common in women and three times more in squamous cell cancer.

Chemicals: Except for arsenic, exposure to heavy metals used in the construction of pesticides, paraffin, certain types of oils, coal and tar exposure also increases skin cancer risk.

Once you have skin cancer, the risk of having a second skin cancer is higher.

For the cause of psoriasis, drug or PUVA (ultraviolet beam therapy) areas, the risk of squamous cell carcinoma and other skin cancers is greater.

In a skin disease called xeroderma pigmentosum, rarely seen, the ability to repair sun damage is reduced. Skin cancers can be seen in these individuals even in childhood.

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) causes genital area and different warts from the head, hands and feet. These warts increase the risk of skin cancer.

Smoking increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma.


Although basal cell and squamous cell cancers are not completely prevented, the risk of developing cancer can be reduced. The best way to reduce the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer is to avoid exposure to sunlight. Four ways to protect yourself from sun rays and benefit from ultraviolet light; Wearing a t-shirt while sunbathing; Wearing a hat, using sunglasses to protect the eyes and using sunscreen creams. Artificial tanning is also harmful to the skin. You should avoid exposure to these types of ultraviolet rays. You should also protect children from sunlight as much as possible and teach them the ways of protecting themselves from sunlight. However, it is important to pay attention to the relationship between sunlight and vitamin D, while avoiding sunlight is advised. Vitamin D is a vitamin that is known to be a protective effect against certain cancers produced by sunlight effect on the skin. The optimal level of Vitamin D and the benefit harm balance between skin cancer risk and adequate vitamin D intake from sunlight are not fully known. If your skin is dark and you are living in areas where the sun's light is weak, you may be advised to take daily Vitamin D or vitamin D supplementation with certain foods, and most of the milk is added to Vitamin D in our country. You should avoid exposure to some chemicals, such as arsenic, pesticides.


Below is a brief description of the most common of the various skin cancer types;

Basal cell carcinoma: The outermost layer is caused by cells in the epidermis. Approximately eight out of every 10 skin cancers are basal cell cancers. Skin cancers of this type grow slowly, rarely spread. Nearly half of basal-cell cancers can have new skin cancers in five years.

Flat-cell cancers: They are caused by flat cells in the epidermis. About two out of ten skin cancers are flat-cell cancers. Squamous cell carcinomas tend to spread to the fatty tissue just below the skin, and seldom can spread to the lymph nodes and distant regions of the body. These are non-melanoma cancers. Melanomas are less common skin cancers, and the spread of non-melanoma cancers to other parts of the body is very rare, often spreading to the surrounding tissue and other parts of the body. Actinic keratosis is a special skin disease that can turn into skin cancer over time. They are small, rough and rough, pink-red or skin-colored lesions of skin known as solar keratosis, which is caused by exposure to excessive sunlight. They do not usually give a sign and they can turn into cancer, but not very often. Other skin lesions, such as actinic keratosis, which may turn into cancer, may need to be removed before they become cancerous, so you should go to your doctor regularly. Some skin tumors are also well-behaved, rarely turn into cancer. These tumors; Most of the moles are seborrheic keratosis, hemangioma, lipomas and warts.

It is characterized by non-melanoma skin cancers and actinic keratosis skin changes. All changes in the skin are not melanoma-related cancers and actinic keratoses but should be consulted when changes in the skin are seen.

Inflammatory lesions that do not heal

Seen in the skin;

Small, fluffy, smooth, polished and polished lesions

Small, puffy, red or brown-red colored lesions

Plain, firm, red or brown and crustal lesions

Shellwash, hemorrhagic lesions

Similar to the scar and permanent lesions are possible findings of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Hard, rough, pink, red or brown, puffy, crusty areas of the skin and

Cracking and peeling not covered by lip creme on the lower lip; Actinic keratosis is a possible finding.

Skin cancers do not give signs and symptoms until they reach a very large size. Skin ulcers that do not heal within three months can be a pioneer finding of skin cancers, with a new emerging growth in the skin, increased mass to the existing mass or smear, Skin cancers can only cause bleeding and pain when they reach very large sizes.


Examination and diagnostic methods used in the diagnosis of nonmelanoma cancers are as follows. Examination: Color, shape and structure changes on the skin, swelling and stains on the skin are examined carefully by the doctor.

Biopsy: Obscure parts of the skin appear normal, and the presence or absence of cancer cells in this part is examined under the microscope by a pathologist. Once skin cancer is diagnosed, some tests may be consulted to determine whether the disease has spread to other areas. Lymph node biopsy may be performed to detect lymph node spread in squamous cell cancer. The chance of skin cancer to heal; The type of cancer, the location and size of the tumor, and the overall health status of the patient.

In stage 0 non-melanoma skin cancer, cancer cells are located in the epidermis of the outer skin of the skin.

In stage I, the size of the cancer cells is as small as 2 cm.

In stage II, the tumor is 2 cm in size.

In stage III, the tumor may be spread under the skin to the cartilage layer or muscles, bone, or adjacent lymph nodes; But it has not spread to the organs in the more remote parts.

In stage IV, the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment depends on the type of non-melanoma skin cancer, the type of cancer-predominant lesions.


There are basically four treatment modalities for the treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers and actinic keratosis.

Surgical Treatment; Different surgical treatments are applied.

Mohs In microscopic surgery, the tumor is removed in the form of thin layers and examined under a microscope in which tumor cells do not remain on the surgical margin. In this method, it is possible to remove as few normal tissues as possible, which is why cosmetic results are important in areas such as the face.

Simple excision; The tumor is removed with some normal skin texture.

Shave in the excision; With the help of a small knife, the cancerous area is shaved from the skin surface.

Electrodeposition and curettage; A sharp spoon-shaped tool called a curette cuts the tumor's skin surface and stops with bleeding electrodes. This operation with electrodes can be repeated three times during surgery.

Kryocerrahi; In which a small metal plate is cooled to freezing and then placed in the area of ​​abnormal cells where abnormal cells are destroyed. This method can be used to treat early stage skin cancers such as carcinoma in situ.

Laser Surgery; A laser is used to destroy abnormal cells.

Dermabrasion is peeled off using small particles in the top layer of skin.

Radiotherapy; Using high-energy X-rays, cancerous areas are treated locally. Radiotherapy can be summarized as destroying the intended cancerous cells and shrinking the tumor.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy, another way of treating cancer, uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Depending on the spread of the disease, the drugs may be given intravenously, or may be administered locally or by administering to the body cavities. In non-melanoma skin cancers, chemotherapy is applied to the skin as a cream or lotion. Vitamin A-containing retinoids are used to prevent skin cancers. The use of retinoids in the treatment of squamous cell cancers is still being investigated.

Photodynamic Therapy; The killing of cancer cells using drugs and lasers. Intravenous drug is active when exposed to light, and this drug, which is more involved in cancer cells, kills cancerous cells without harming normal cells.

You will be called up regularly to check for the Treatment Response After Treatment. Your doctor will do some tests to determine if the cancer has recurred. Basal cell carcinomas tend to recur within the first five years after treatment. The skin examination should be repeated once every six months for the next five years, and then once a year.

Squamous cell carcinomas tend to spread, and the skin examination should be repeated every three months after treatment.

The text here is general information and we can talk to your specialist for personal evaluation, as diseases can vary.