Photomedicine

Skin Cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is a form of non-melanoma skin cancer that arises from the cells of the lower (i.e. basal) part of the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis). BCC is a type of non-melanoma skin cancer and is the most common cancer in the world, but is rarely fatal, as the cancer’s ability to invade other tissues and organs is limited.

 

Actinic Keratoses (AKs) are collections of abnormal skin cells (keratinocytes) found in the upper layers of skin (epidermis) that develop after prolonged exposure to sun light and ultraviolet light. Actinic Keratoses are in-situ squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) lesions (malignant cells still in their anatomically correct location). If left untreated, actinic keratoses may develop into invasive SCC skin cancer, a malignant skin tumor.

 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a malignant skin tumour which develops from keratinocytes from above the basal layer in the epidermis. Invasive SCC indicates that the cancer cells have grown into the deeper layers of the skin (dermis), whereas the term in-situ SCC indicate that the cancer cells remain in the upper layers of the skin (epidermis). SCC and Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) are the non-melanoma skin cancers and are the most common malignancy in humans.

 

The incidence of melanoma varies geographically. Australia has the highest incidence, with 1 in 25 people succumbing to the disease in their lifetime, compared to 1 in 5000 in the USA and European countries.