There are three main types of skin cancer. This information is about the two most common types: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These are known as non-melanoma skin cancer. The third type of skin cancer is rarer. It is called malignant melanoma and needs to be treated as early as possible because it can grow quickly.
Basal cell carcinoma
About 75% of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma, or BCC. Usually, BCCs are very slow-growing and don’t spread to other parts of the body. If they are treated early, most BCCs are completely cured.
Squamous cell carcinoma
The second most common type of skin cancer in the UK is squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC. Most people with SCC can be cured with simple treatment. Usually, SCCs are slow-growing and don’t spread to other parts of the body.
There are other, rarer types of skin cancer but they make up less than 3% of skin cancers in the UK.
Bowen’s disease is a skin condition. In a small number of people, Bowen’s disease that isn’t treated may develop into squamous cell cancer.