Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Skin cancer (non-melanoma) is the most common type of cancer in the United States. They are named for the type of cells that become cancerous.

The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell cancer and  squamous cell cancer. These cancers usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. These areas are exposed to the sun. But skin cancer can occur anywhere.

  • Basal cell skin cancer grows slowly. It usually occurs on areas of the skin that have been in the sun. It is most common on the face. Basal cell cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
  • Squamous cell skin cancer also occurs on parts of the skin that have been in the sun. But it also may be in places that are not in the sun. Squamous cell cancer sometimes spreads to lymph nodes and organs inside the body.

If skin cancer spreads from its original place to another part of the body, the new growth has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the primary growth. It is still called skin cancer.

Visit the National Cancer Institute where this information and more can be found about Skin Cancer or ask your cancer care team questions about your individual situation.