Practice Question # 800.
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Skin cancer is a malignant lesion of the skin that may or may not metastasize. Overexposure to the sun is a primary cause. Diagnosis is confirmed by a skin biopsy that is positive for cancer cells.
Types of skin cancer
- Basal cell: Basal cell cancer arises from the basal cells contained in the epidermis; metastasis is rare but underlying tissue destruction can progress to organ tissue.
- Squamous cell: Squamous cell cancer is a tumor of the epidermal keratinocytes and can infiltrate surrounding structures and metastasize to lymph nodes.
- Melanoma: Melanoma may occur any place on the body, especially where birthmarks or new moles are apparent; it is highly metastatic to the brain, lungs, bone, and liver, with survival depending on early diagnosis and treatment.