What Is Carcinoma?


There are more than 100 types of cancer, but most can be classified under one of four major categories: carcinoma, leukemia, sarcoma or lymphoma.


  • Carcinoma is a type of cancer that arises in the lining of cells, such as the skin or the lining of a digestive organ. According to the American Cancer Society, "at least 80 percent of all cancers are carcinomas."

Basal Cell Carcinoma

  • The most common type of cancer in the United States is basal cell carcinoma, a skin cancer that arises in the deepest layer of the epidermis (top skin layer).

Risk Factors

  • Basal cell carcinoma is often the result of excessive sun exposure. Other possible risk factors include: contact with arsenic, radiation exposure, chronic inflammatory skin conditions, and complications of burns, scars, infections, vaccinations or tattoos.


  • There are many treatment options for carcinoma, including: radiation, cryosurgery, laser treatment and chemotherapy.


  • After treatment, basal cell carcinoma can return or new skin cancers can develop. Up to 50 percent of people treated for basal cell carcinoma will develop a new skin cancer within five years.

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