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Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Subtypes | Are Some Populations More At-Risk?

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Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Subtypes: Are Some Populations More At-Risk? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo

Are some populations more at-risk for non-melanoma skin cancer subtypes? Expert Dr. Silvina Pugliese explains common subtypes, incidence rates, and risk factors linked with the subtypes.

Silvina Pugliese, M.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Attending Physician at the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center and Stanford Cancer Institute. Learn more about Dr. Pugliese.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

Patients who have any of the risk factors discussed, so, for example, lighter-skinned, chronic sun exposure, and immunosuppressed for any reason, whether due to an underlying medical condition or a medication, or who have genetic mutations or history of radiation or any environmental factors that put them at risk, should be aware that looking at their skin for skin cancers is very important, and that they should see a doctor, a dermatologist, if they notice anything that looks suspicious on their skin, that warrants for their evaluation.”

Download Guide  |  Download Guide en español

See More from [ACT]IVATED Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Related Resources:

Do Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Differ in Diverse Patient Populations?

Do Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Differ in Diverse Patient Populations?

Melanoma vs. Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer | What’s the Difference?

Melanoma vs. Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer | What’s the Difference?

Explaining Skin Cancer to Newly Diagnosed Patients | An Oncodermatologist Weighs In

Explaining Skin Cancer to Newly Diagnosed Patients | An Oncodermatologist Weighs In


Transcript:

Mary Leer:

All right. Dr. Pugliese, what are the various subtypes of non-melanoma skin cancers, and are certain populations more susceptible to getting non-melanoma skin cancers than others?

Dr. Silvina Pugliese:

So there are a number of subtypes of non-melanoma skin cancers. The most common one is called a basal cell cancer, that occurs in about 4 million, there are about 4 million cases of basal cell cancer in the United States every year, and it’s considered a skin cancer related to keratinocytes, the most common type of skin cell. The second most common type of non-melanoma skin cancer, is called a squamous cell cancer, also arising from keratinocytes with about 2 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States. There are also less common types of non-melanoma skin cancers, including Merkel cell carcinoma, which arises from Merkel cells and sebaceous carcinoma. 

When we think about risk factors, there are a number of risk factors that put certain populations at a higher risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers. So, for example, one thing that we think about often is lighter skin. So patients who have blonde hair, red hair, freckles, who are more likely to sunburn, who have lighter skin, are going to be more prone to the UV damage that can cause some of these skin cancers to develop. Chronic sun exposure is closely interplayed with that concept, so patients that live in a warm climate, are closer to the equator, live at higher altitude, have outdoor hobbies or outdoor jobs. There are certain medications that can also confer a greater risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers.

So medications that suppress your immune system or that making more sensitive to light or getting sunburns from UV. And any condition that suppresses the immune system. So, for example, patients that have undergone a solid organ transplant, like a heart transplant or a lung transplant, or patients that have a diagnosis such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia. We know that those patient populations are at much higher risk of developing non-melanoma cancers.

There are other factors that are environmental. So, for example, if there is arsenic in well water that is being bathed in, then that could also lead to development of squamous cell cancer, smoking, chronic wounds or scars can put certain patients at increased risk of squamous cell cancer, certain genetic mutations, and then a history of any radiation, for example, for the treatment of other types of cancer.

So my activation tip for this question is, there are a number of non-melanoma skin cancers that can present, the most common ones being basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Patients who have any of the risk factors discussed, so, for example, lighter-skinned, chronic sun exposure, and immunosuppressed for any reason, whether due to an underlying medical condition or a medication, or who have genetic mutations or history of radiation or any environmental factors that put them at risk, should be aware that looking at their skin for skin cancers is very important, and that they should see a doctor, a dermatologist, if they notice anything that looks suspicious on their skin, that warrants for their evaluation.


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Explaining Skin Cancer to Newly Diagnosed Patients | An Oncodermatologist Weighs In

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Explaining Skin Cancer to Newly Diagnosed Patients: An Oncodermatologist Weighs In from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo

How can skin cancer be explained to newly diagnosed patients? Expert Dr. Silvina Pugliese shares how she explains various skin cancer subtypes, the origin of different skin cancers, and how the incidence rate and appearance can differ for some non-melanoma skin cancers.

Silvina Pugliese, M.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Attending Physician at the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center and Stanford Cancer Institute. Learn more about Dr. Pugliese.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…knowing that there are common non-melanoma skin cancers called basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer, that they arise from keratinocyte carcinoma and that they can look different from other types of skin cancers such as melanoma. So the big difference there is that these, instead of being brown or black primarily, which is what we think about melanoma, these kinds of skin cancers tend to be pink, red, scaly, they can sometimes have some brown pigment in the pigmented variants…”

Download Guide  |  Download Guide en español

See More from [ACT]IVATED Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Related Resources:

Do Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Differ in Diverse Patient Populations?

Do Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Differ in Diverse Patient Populations?

Melanoma vs. Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer | What’s the Difference?

Melanoma vs. Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer | What’s the Difference?

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Subtypes | Are Some Populations More At-Risk?

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Subtypes | Are Some Populations More At-Risk?


Transcript:

Mary Leer:

Dr. Pugliese, how do you explain skin cancers to your newly diagnosed patients?

Dr. Silvina Pugliese:

So, when explaining skin cancers to my patients, I will, and this is in the context of explaining non-melanoma skin cancers, I will explain that they are cancers arising from different cells within the skin, so in the case of both basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer, they arise from keratinocytes within the skin, and I’ll explain that the skin cancers are different from melanoma because many patients will have heard about melanoma, and I may know people who had melanoma, but they may know a little bit less about basal cell or squamous cell, despite those being the more common types of skin cancers.

I also will explain that basal cell and squamous cell are really the more common skin cancers that we encounter, so in the case of basal cell cancers, there are about 4 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States, and squamous cell cancer is the second most common kind of skin cancer with approximately 2 million cases diagnosed each year of squamous cell cancer. My activation tip for this question is knowing that there are common non-melanoma skin cancers called basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer, that they arise from keratinocyte carcinoma and that they can look different from other types of skin cancers such as melanoma.

So the big difference there is that these, instead of being brown or black primarily, which is what we think about melanoma, these kinds of skin cancers tend to be pink, red, scaly, they can sometimes have some brown pigment in the pigmented variants. But they have a different clinical appearance. It’s important to know that so that you can identify these types of skin cancers on your skin since they are the most common. 


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Melanoma vs. Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer: What’s the Difference?

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Melanoma vs. Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer: What’s the Difference? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

 What’s the difference between non-melanoma skin cancer versus melanoma? Expert Dr. Silvina Pugliese defines the two major skin cancer types and explains skin cancer subtypes and their occurrence rates.

Silvina Pugliese, M.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Attending Physician at the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center and Stanford Cancer Institute. Learn more about Dr. Pugliese.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…knowing that there are skin cancers that are separate and different from melanoma, and asking your doctor to take a look at your skin to see whether there’s anything suspicious for either a melanoma or a non-melanoma skin cancer, which could include basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, Merkel cell cancer, and sebaceous cell cancer among others.”

Download Guide  |  Download Guide en español

See More from [ACT]IVATED Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Related Resources:

Do Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Differ in Diverse Patient Populations?

Do Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Differ in Diverse Patient Populations?

Explaining Skin Cancer to Newly Diagnosed Patients | An Oncodermatologist Weighs In

Explaining Skin Cancer to Newly Diagnosed Patients | An Oncodermatologist Weighs In

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Subtypes | Are Some Populations More At-Risk?

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Subtypes | Are Some Populations More At-Risk?


Transcript:

Mary Leer:

Dr. Pugliese, what are non-melanoma skin cancers? I must admit I have some experience with skin cancer in terms of I’m a melanoma survivor, and my sister has had the non-melanoma skin cancers that we’re talking about.

Dr. Silvina Pugliese:

Thank you, Mary Leer. That’s a really great question. So it’s interesting that we think of non-melanoma and cancer that we name them in the context of melanoma being different from melanoma, because melanoma is a skin cancer that I think most people hear the most about, despite the other skin cancers that we’ll talk about, being more common. So melanoma, just to set the stage is a cancer, skin cancer, arising from melanocytes, and those are the cells in our skin that produce melanin, which provides color or pigment to our skin.

When we talk about non-melanoma skin cancers, we’re talking about cancers that are arising from different cell types, the most common non-melanoma skin cancers are those arising from keratinocytes, we call them keratinocyte carcinoma, and there are more common names are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Keratinocytes are the most common type of skin, so there are other less common non-melanoma skin cancers as well, some of those are, Merkel cell carcinoma, these developed from a cell called a Merkel cell, which are present in the skin.

They’re also called neuroendocrine cells because they produce certain hormones, and they can be involved in touch sensation, so basal carcinoma is another non-melanoma cancer that develops from sebaceous or oil glands, so you can see how the non-melanoma skin cancers are related to different cell types that we can find within the skin.

My activation tip for this question is knowing that there are skin cancers that are separate and different from melanoma, and asking your doctor to take a look at your skin to see whether there’s anything suspicious for either a melanoma or a non-melanoma skin cancer, which could include basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, Merkel cell cancer, and sebaceous cell cancer among others. 


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