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How Dangerous Is Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer & Is It Contagious?

Skin cancer refers to the abnormal growth of skin cells. This is one of the common types of cancer and is curable if doctors identify it early and give proper treatment. Thus, you should essentially consult your doctor as you observe any change in your skin or the formation of any lump or lesion.

How Dangerous Is Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer?

How Dangerous Is Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer & Is It Contagious?

We know that nonmelanoma skin cancer i.e. keratinocyte carcinoma is a common form and is curable. Hence, doctors may estimate the statistics related to nonmelanoma skin cancer easily, as individual cases do not report to cancer registries. According to the estimation, approximately 3million people in the United States undergo diagnose with nonmelanoma skin cancer yearly. Basal type of cell carcinoma is a common compared to the squamous type of cell carcinoma. Approximately 80percent of nonmelanoma skin cancer is of BCC i.e. basal cell carcinoma. Each year, approximately 2,000 people die from squamous and basal cell skin cancers.

Most of the deaths have declined during the last few years and take place only in elder people. However, in general, people diagnosed with skin cancer, especially of nonmelanoma type are more than 70years. Also, the survival rate of skin cancer patients increases when the cancer is identified at the first stage or before it grows and spread to one’s lymph nodes and other distant body parts. Lymph nodes refer to small and beam shaped organs, which help in fighting with internal infections. (2)

Skin Cancer Is Dangerous Or Not As Per 5-Year Relative Survival Of Skin Cancer Patients

Other than the aforementioned statistics, 5-year survival in the case of nonmelanoma skin cancer has proved to be excellent. Accordingly, 5-year relative survival of a Basel cell carcinoma is about 100percent, while that of squamous cell carcinoma is 95percent. However, survival in the case of nonmelanoma skin cancer depends on additional factors, which include-

  • Most of the nonmelanoma skin cancers belong to the category of low grade and they often grow at a slow rate.
  • Nonmelanoma skin cancer is usually identified as well as treated at the initial stage itself. Thus, it has a better prognosis than the melanoma one.
  • Nonmelanoma skin cancer involves a large number of effective treatments.
  • Especially, BCC type of nonmelanoma skin cancer spreads to other body parts rarely.
  • SCC has a relatively low risk to come back after you undergo its proper treatment.

Skin Cancer Is Dangerous Or Not As Per Prognosis Of The Problem

Based on the aforementioned statistics, we should say that nonmelanoma skin cancer has a relatively good prognosis. However, if we talk about individually, the prognosis may depend on additional factors, which include the following-

  • History of your health
  • The specific type of cancer
  • Location of your skin cancer
  • The size and grade of the cancer
  • The group of treatments or therapies you opt

The way, in which cancer responds to a specific treatment (3)

Types Of Nonmelanoma Cancers

In most cases, skin cancers take place of nonmelanoma types. However, nonmelanoma skin cancers are further divided into two major categories, which include the following-

Basal Cell Carcinoma: Most of the nonmelanoma cancers are basal cell carcinomas. These carcinomas damage deep tissues, like those of bones and muscles. However, BCC never or rarely spreads to other body parts in a skin cancer patient.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinomas are relatively lesser common types of cancers and they usually develop from a small yet rough spot, which grows in any sun-damaged skin. Also, the carcinoma, in this case, spreads to other body parts. Nonmelanoma skin cancers mainly take place due to your excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. Also, these types of cancers take place with the usage of sunlamps and tanning beds. (1)


To conclude, we should say that nonmelanoma skin cancer is not a dangerous one. However, it is the prime responsibility of a patient to consult with the doctor, undergo the necessary diagnostic and treatment procedures to live for more number of years.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 22, 2021

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