Skin Cancer Types, Prevention, and Detection

Skin Cancer Types, Prevention, and Detection


Our skin is a window to our body's health and it serves as an early warning system alerting us that something might be wrong internally. Our skin texture, temperature, and color can provide hints that something is wrong. Hot skin can mean you have a fever. Yellow skin (jaundice) can indicate a problem with the liver. Or an irregular-shaped, mole-like brown spot that suddenly appears can be a sign of skin cancer.


Go to Skin Cancer Investigation and click on "Skin Cancer: Types." From there, you can work your way through the rest of the interactive, stopping to answer each series of questions. These questions can also be found on the Skin Cancer Types, Prevention, and Detection student sheet.

Skin Cancer: Types

  • What are the main warning signs of skin cancer?
  • Name the three types of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma

  • What are the characteristics of basal cell carcinoma?
  • Click on and review the six samples of basal cells. How might you know you have basal cell carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma

  • In which layer of skin do squamous cell carcinomas originate?
  • Among which populations is this form of cancer most common?
  • Describe where squamous cells might be found on the body.
  • Why should people be more aware of squamous cell carcinoma?
  • Why should you be concerned about squamous cell carcinoma?
  • What should individuals look for when checking for squamous cell carcinoma on their skin?
  • Click on and review the five samples of squamous cell carcinoma. What characteristics might alert you to this kind of skin cancer?

Melanoma and the Danger Signs

  • Why is melanoma the most dangerous form of skin cancer?
  • In which layer does melanoma originate?
  • Who is more susceptible to melanoma?
  • What are the four types of melanoma?
  • What are the ABCD symptoms?
  • Click on and review the five samples of melanoma. What strikes you most about these samples?
  • Name some warning signs of melanoma.

Skin Cancer: Prevention and Detection

  • What are the best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer?

Now go to the Glowell Clinic: Lab. Click on any patient file where an image of a growth will appear along with the patient's history.

Review the list of symptoms and check those that describe the growth. Decide whether the growth is cancerous or not. Select the next patient and complete the same steps.

Finally, go to the Glowell Clinic: Helpdesk. Select Caller 1. Select answers to the caller's questions. Read the answer in the box on the right side of the screen.

To further assess your understanding of skin cancer, go to and read Part 4: Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer in The Science Inside Skin.

This esheet is a part of the Skin Cancer 2: Types, Prevention, and Detection lesson.

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