Skin Cancer in New Zealand
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand and our skin cancer rates are among the highest in the world. There are three main types of skin cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Malignant Melanoma.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It arises from the outer layer of the skin. It often appears as an opaque or scaling patch or bump in sun-exposed areas, and may be mistaken for a wart or patch of dry skin. Unlike Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma can progress far enough to get into the lymph nodes and blood stream and become a threat to a patient's life. The overall chance of any Squamous Cell Carcinoma spreading outside the local region is about 2%, but this can be much higher depending on the location of the cancerous site or other features.