Can Seborrheic Keratosis Lead To Skin Cancer?



Have you encountered any growth of seborrheic keratosis lesions on your skin? Did you ever worry about what this lesion might be? Have you ever thought, “Wait. Is this a rash, an insect bite or is this already a symptom of a more serious disease?” Rather than just asking yourself these questions, start finding out about the answers. Since you already have the proof on your skin, you can now just flip the pages of some books or browse through thousands of sites in the internet. However, you have to go the doctor at once if according to a trustworthy source, be it from a book or from the internet, your lesion is a symptom of an even more serious condition.

Here, we will only focus on one of the many types of skin lesions and that is seborrheic keratosis. The term keratosis originates from its base word keratin – a naturally-occuring protein in the skin – which has the capacity to overgrow. It usually ranges from yellow, to brown and to black, in color. You can find its lesions to be either level or mounted above the surface of the skin – which is the case most of the time. Its size also varies from extremely to small up to an inch in diameter. In form, it is mostly rounded or oblong-shaped. It often appears like a wart but is very dissimilar from it. Although it may appear as a single lesion, this type of keratosis usually comes in multiple growths. It can actually manifest on any part of the body but most of the time, they are located at the chest or the back. But if someone asks what makes this lesion stand out, the answer is its slippery or oily appearance. And you would be happy to know that pain is not a symptom of this type of keratosis. Just do not chafe the lesion so you can avoid its inflammation and you will be fine. Seborrheic keratosis is not a menacing condition after all, or is it?

I think most of you maybe thought, “Isn’t this a type of skin cancer?” Before we go any further, we must first answer the question: “What is skin cancer?” It is actually the cancer type that has the highest number of incidence. Only in the United States, 12.5 percent of Americans acquires skin cancer. Since anyone can easily assess the skin, any disease of the skin is immediately detected. Therefore, it is also the type of cancer that is most successfully treated. The three types of skin cancer whose basis of naming is based on the cells affected will be discussed in the next sentences. The most prevalent skin cancer is the basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Though basal cell carcinoma is fatal, its growth is gradual and it rarely spreads. A small, luminous nodule manifests at first. It matures by forming an ulcer at the center of the lesion’s original site. The next most prevalent skin cancer type is the basal cell carcinoma. In contrast, this has a more rapid growth, undergoes metastasis, has a firmer consistency and redder in color. The last type, malignant melanoma is most known for having the highest morbidity rate. Its warning signs can easily be remembered by the letters ABCDE. It is asymmetric, its borders are irregular, its color varies, its diameter is greater than 6 millimeters and it is elevated.

Now, we can answer the question whether it is precancerous or not. In contrast with actinic keratosis which eventually leads to squamous cell carcinoma, seborrheic keratosis is not related to skin cancer. Seborrheic keratosis, to our surprise, is a benign type of skin growth. You only have to worry about the lesser problems, namely, deformity of your physical appearance and possible irritation of the lesion.

Read More | Seborrheic Keratosis

Actinic & Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis

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