10 doctors weighed in:

What are the differences between melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Karen Han
Dermatology
6 doctors agree

In brief: Different cell types

Melanomas originate from pigment producing cells called melanocytes, whereas squamous cell carcinomas from squamous cells in the skin.
They appear different clinically. The former most frequently have irregular borders and many shades of brown, whereas the latter is often red scaly crusty plaques. However, rarely melanomas can loose their pigment and look like squamous cell ca.

In brief: Different cell types

Melanomas originate from pigment producing cells called melanocytes, whereas squamous cell carcinomas from squamous cells in the skin.
They appear different clinically. The former most frequently have irregular borders and many shades of brown, whereas the latter is often red scaly crusty plaques. However, rarely melanomas can loose their pigment and look like squamous cell ca.
Dr. Karen Han
Dr. Karen Han
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3 comments
Dr. Mike Bowman
As with all types of cancer, different cancers arise from different cells. The skin is a complex organ which contains many different cells types. This means there are many different types of cancers which are all "skin cancers" although they may look and behave very differently.
Dr. Richard Orr
Melanomas spread (metastasize) with some frequency, depending on how thick they are, ulceration, etc. Squamous cell cancer of the skin can occassionally metastasize, but much less frequently. Consequently, surgery for melanoma may be more aggressive - removing more skin, biopsying lymph nodes, skin graft or reconstruction, etc.
Dr. Ly Phan
Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Ability to kill

Melanoma of the skin is often fatal as opposed to squamous cell cancer of the skin.

In brief: Ability to kill

Melanoma of the skin is often fatal as opposed to squamous cell cancer of the skin.
Dr. Ly Phan
Dr. Ly Phan
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Dr. Eric Whitman
Surgery - Oncology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Different skin cells

Melanoma and basal cell carcinoma are both skin cancers.
But, they originate from different types of cells in the skin. This likely is the reason that their clinical behavior is so different. Basal cell carcinoma is much more common, but is also much less likely to metastasize.

In brief: Different skin cells

Melanoma and basal cell carcinoma are both skin cancers.
But, they originate from different types of cells in the skin. This likely is the reason that their clinical behavior is so different. Basal cell carcinoma is much more common, but is also much less likely to metastasize.
Dr. Eric Whitman
Dr. Eric Whitman
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Dr. Travis Kidner
Surgery - Oncology

In brief: Symptoms

There are several different types of skin cancers.
The main three are squamous, cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Squamous cell the skin begins as a small nodule and as it enlarges the center becomes necrotic and sloughs and the nodule turns into an ulcer. Basal cell patients present with a shiny, pearly nodule. Melanoma patients have an irregularly appearing pigmented lesion.

In brief: Symptoms

There are several different types of skin cancers.
The main three are squamous, cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Squamous cell the skin begins as a small nodule and as it enlarges the center becomes necrotic and sloughs and the nodule turns into an ulcer. Basal cell patients present with a shiny, pearly nodule. Melanoma patients have an irregularly appearing pigmented lesion.
Dr. Travis Kidner
Dr. Travis Kidner
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