Difference Between Melanomas and Carcinomas - Ask Any Difference

Difference Between Melanomas and Carcinomas

Melanomas and Carcinomas are two kinds of skin cancers. Both of these terms refer to skin cancer but are two different kinds of skin cancer. Though these two grow in a similar way, i.e. growing the cell in an unusual way that causes tumours, the detailed function or working structure is very different.

Melanomas and Carcinomas arrive from two different kinds of cells, which lead to cancer. Melanomas come from Melanocytes. These cells in the skin protect it from sunlight and determine its colour as well. These cells releases or produces melanin which is the main compound that helps in this function.

Carcinomas, on the other hand, come from two different kinds of cells Basal cells and Squamous cells. Basal cells are present in the lower level of the epidermis. These cells help in producing new cells or reproduce to create new cells for the skin. On the other hand, Squamous cells form the outer layer of the skin.

Melanomas vs Carcinomas

The main difference between Melanomas and Carcinomas is that both are two different types of skin cancer. Melanomas arise from one kind of cell, while Carcinomas arises from another kind of cells present mainly in the lining of the respiratory or digestive system. Both of these also differ in their treatments.

Melanomas and Carcinomas

Melanomas are seen as much more dangerous with different kinds of treatment. These types of cancers generally show a little bump or growth on the skin. The colour of these bumps can also signify which type of cancer it is. Mainly the colours like shades of blue or bright red or purple represent melanomas.

Carcinomas, on the other hand, are less dangerous if we compare them with melanomas. These types of skin cancers also manifest as a small growth or bump on the skin. The colour of this bump differs from that of Melanomas. Mainly pink or reddish colour represents the occurrence of Carcinomas.

Comparison Table Between Melanomas and Carcinomas

Parameters of Comparison MelanomasCarcinomas
OccurrenceMelanocytes cells Basal and Squamous skin cells
Survival ratesStage 4 is 50%, decreases with age and for men 100% survival due to high medical technology
TreatmentRemoval of the mass or sometimes radiation Different kinds of treatment from surgery in stage 1 to radiations
AppearanceThis firstly appears like a reddish or pinky bump or growth This firstly appear like a bright red or purple or bluish bump or growth
Spreading rateIt can grow very fast and spread and become life-threatening in about a month and a half It is not life-threatening nowadays but can be very aggressive and cause death if ignored for a very long time

What is Melanomas?

Melanomas are not the common type of skin cancer, making a relief as it is a dangerous form of skin cancer. At the last stages of this skin cancer, it can be very aggressive. This type of skin cancer also grows or spreads within the body very quickly. In this, Nodular Melanoma is the most aggressive form.

The treatment of melanoma has a particular guideline named as ‘ABCD’ medical guideline. In this, the A refers to asymmetry, B refers to the border, c refers to colour, D refers to diameter. In the early stage, cancer can be treated just by removal. For other stages, other kinds of combined treatment are given.

For other serious stages, treatments like chemo, radiotherapy, cryotherapy, immunotherapy, target therapy, etc. In stage two, along with surgery, a biopsy of the sentinel node is a very common treatment. In stage three, the treatments proceed with surgery and sentinel node along with radiation and direct chemotherapy. 

In stage four, all kinds of tools are used, from surgery to all other therapies, in a very aggressive manner. Awareness about these melanomas in the early stage can be cured totally, but very rarely, It can also be recurring. For this kind of cancer, the treatment is quite the same. But since this type of cancer only makes 20% of skin cancer, it is rare.

What is Carcinomas?

Carcinomas make up to 80% of skin cancers. This type of skin cancer is not as dangerous as Melanomas. These cancers can be mainly cured by just the process of surgery. But if cancer reaches the 4th stage, it can also be aggressive. Along with the surgery in the 4th stage, radiation can cure this cancer.

There are two types of Carcinomas based on the cells it is produced from. Firstly is the Basal cell carcinomas, which make from 70% to 80% of the chances of this kind of skin cancer. The formation of this skin cancer happens in the mother cell, which also gives high chances of mutation as all other cells of the skin are produced from this mother cell.

The second type is Squamous cell carcinomas which fill the gap of the rest of the 20% of Carcinoma skin cancer. As by the name itself, we can understand that this kind of skin cancer grows from a squamous cell. The squamous cells are common plane cells present in many organisms. It is seen to be present in the inner linings of most of the organs in a human body, like the lungs. 

This Squamous cell carcinomas are rare of all but also is not deadly. The mortality rate of this kind of skin cancer is very high. Along with the high medical technology of nowadays, the mortality rate is very high. Along with this, the mortality rate of Basal cell carcinomas is high. This type of cancer has the highest rate of mortality with 100%.

Main Differences Between Melanomas and Carcinomas

  1. Melanomas are much more dangerous and aggressive than Carcinomas.
  2. Melanomas are uncommon and even have less mortality rate than Carcinomas.
  3. Melanomas occur from Melanocytes cells, while Carcinomas occurs from two kinds of cells Basal cells and Squamous cell
  4. This both makes up around 99% of the skin cancer in which Melanomas have a 20% chance of occurrence and Carcinomas have 80%.
  5. Melanomas are caused by ultraviolet rays mainly, but for Carcinomas along with UV rays, we also see Tanning bed can cause it.
  6. Melanomas in the 4th stage have very aggressive treatment with all kinds of possible techniques, but in the 4th stage of Carcinomas, we see less aggressiveness when compared.


Melanomas and Carcinomas are the two types of cancer which if caught in a very early stage, can be treated very easily. Thus being aware of these important medical issues are very important. One should always understand the differences which may save a life.

Melanoma and Carcinoma nowadays, with the latest technology and proper treatment, can be treated. But to be cautious, one should always understand the differences. These two skin cancers consist of two different root causes and different treatments as well.


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