Rare Skin Cancers

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers

While melanoma is perhaps the most well-known skin cancer, there are other types as well, collectively referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancer.

  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of cancer in the world. BCC is typically a slow-growing nonmelanoma cancer, which means it’s highly curable when detected early. Symptoms of BCC may include shiny, skin-colored bumps; dark lesions; white, scar-like lesions; or flat, scaly patches.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common skin cancer and forms on the epidermis, the skin's outermost layer. Like BCC, SCC is often curable. It can present itself as scaly red patches, open sores, or wart-like skin.
  • Kaposi sarcoma is another type of nonmelanoma cancer that forms in the skin or mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach and intestines. People who have compromised immune systems are more susceptible to Kaposi sarcoma, and symptoms may include discolored lesions, unexplained abdominal pain, and black, tar-like stool.
  • Other types of nonmelanoma cancer include skin adnexal tumors, which encompass eccrine, apocrine, sebaceous, and hair follicle malignancies.

Specialists in the GW Cancer Center’s Cutaneous Oncology Program are highly trained to diagnose and treat all types of skin cancer.