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Understanding the different types of skin cancer

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2020 | SSDI

Skin cancer has a reputation for a high degree treatability, but the facts are a bit more complicated. As with most other cancers, it is more treatable when discovered in the early stages. If skin cancer has the chance to grow and spread, treatment becomes more difficult and the cancer can turn deadly. Skin of all colors is vulnerable to cancer. However, people with fairer skin may be at greater risk.

Skin cancer qualifies for SSDI under certain circumstances. For example, if it extends beneath the skin to affect bone or muscle, it can qualify as a disabling condition. There are different types of skin cancer, each with its own symptoms and characteristics.


Melanoma can appear suddenly as a dark spot on the skin, or it can develop within an existing mole. When this happens, the mole can change color or shape. Because of its tendency to spread, melanoma is the most serious skin cancer according to the doctors who treat it. Therefore, patients should watch out for new dark spots on the skin and observe existing moles closely to watch for changes.

Squamous cell carcinoma

The squamous cells occur near the surface of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma can occur in this layer of cells in areas of the body that get frequent exposure to the sun, such as the arms, neck and face. SCC can appear as a scaly patch, a red bump on the skin or a sore that goes through cycles of healing and reopening.

Basal cell carcinoma

Of all the types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma occurs most frequently. It develops in a deeper layer of skin cells than squamous cell carcinoma. However, it may appear in much the same areas of the body, such as the arms, head or neck. It may look like a pinkish patch of skin, a round growth the same color as the surrounding flesh or a bump on the skin with a pearl-like appearance.