Skin tumours are neoformations of the skin, with differing causes and varying degrees of malignancy. There are a great many types, but they can be classified according to their frequency in the population as follows: basal-cell carcinoma, squamous-cell carcinoma, melanoma, and rare tumours. Basal-cell carcinoma is by far the most common type of skin tumour, and can be classified as superficial, nodular or infiltrative type; all of which require surgical removal even if they very rarely metastatize. Small and superficial basal-cell carcinomas can also be treated with photodynamic therapy. Squamous-cell carcinomas occur less frequently and usually appear on body parts that are exposed to the sun. Most typically occuring in certain anatomical areas (nose, lips, ear lobes), they often appear as slow-growing hard ulcerations with raised edges, and must be surgically removed. Subsequent instrumental screening may be necessary to exclude any metastasis to the lymph nodes and other organs. Melanoma is the most dangerous skin tumour and must be surgically removed as early as possible. The severity of the tumour depends on its anatomical location but above all on the depth reached by the neoplastic cells (classified according to the Breslow’s depth and Clark’s level criteria). Instrumental screening to verify possible metastasis is almost always necessary.
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