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There are several types of skin cancer.
Skin cancer that forms in melanocytes (skin cells that make pigment).
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Skin cancer that forms in basal cells (small, round cells in the base of the outer layer of skin).
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Skin cancer that forms in squamous cells (flat cells that form the surface of the skin).
Skin cancer that forms in neuroendocrine cells (cells that release hormones in response to signals from the nervous system).
Most skin cancers form in older people on parts of the body exposed to the sun or in people who have weakened immune systems.
Source: National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. www.cancer.gov
Layers of Skin
LifeART Collection Images Copyright © 1989-2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD
It is mostly made of flat cells. These are squamous cells. Under the squamous cells in the deepest part of the epidermis are round cells called basal cells. Cells called melanocytes make the pigment (color) found in skin and are located in the lower part of the epidermis.
It contains blood vessels, lymph vessels, and glands. Some of these glands make sweat, which helps cool the body. Other glands make sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that helps keep the skin from drying out. Sweat and sebum reach the surface of the skin through tiny openings called pores.