How serious is skin cancer on the ear?

skin cancer on the ear - skindiseasehospital

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Skin cancer on the ear develops when cells in the ear multiply and grow uncontrolled. It is most common on the outer ear. The development of cancer inside the ear (the middle and inner ear) is rare.

What does skin cancer on the ear look like?

Being aware of early skin cancer on ear symptoms is the most beneficial step toward early detection and treatment. There are different symptoms of ears cancer caused by skin and variations in the way it may appear. 

Symptoms of skin cancer on the ear include scaly skin or small white bumps on the outer ear; skin changes around the ear canal or outer ear should be examined by a dermatologist immediately.

As the skin cancer on the ear continues to grow it could appear as:

  • Lesion or open sores
  • Pink growths
  • Red patches
  • Shiny bumps
  • Scaly patches

The skin cancer growths can be swollen or crusty according to their severity, and there is a chance of puss. Although skin cancer generally develops slowly, it is able to be spread to other areas of the body when left untreated, particularly around the ears, and eventually the face. 

You should perform an annual skin examination in order to stay aware of any changes in your appearance. You can visit the hospital to consult a skin cancer specialist in Coimbatore.

Causes of skin cancer on the ear

Researchers don’t know exactly the cause of the development of ear cancer. Few cases exist, making it difficult to pinpoint where they originated. Researchers do believe that certain things may increase your risk for ear cancer. These include:

  • Light-skinned:  You are more likely to develop skin cancer if you have Light skin.
  • Sun exposure without sunscreen. In the act of spending time outdoors without applying sunscreen. Developing skin cancer increases the risk of developing ear cancer.
  • Frequent ear infections: The inflammatory reactions that accompany ear infections may have an influence on a cellular structure that lead to cancer.
  • Getting older: people who are old, more likely to develop ear cancers.

According to some research, temporal bone squamous cell carcinoma most frequently occurs in the seventh decade.

Types of skin cancer on ear

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common forms of skin cancer. Melanoma is also a possibility, although it is considerably less common.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

The most common type of ear cancer is basal cell carcinoma, and the second most common type appears in the ear. A basal cell carcinoma develops in the basal cells of the epidermis, which are located just beneath the surface of the skin. Most of these growths are slow-growing, and they rarely spread beyond their primary location. Untreated tumors, however, can spread to the temple, inner ear, and surrounding areas. In most cases, however, early detection and treatment are adequate.

Squamous Cell Cancer

The most common type of skin cancer on the ear is squamous cell carcinoma, which is the second most common type. Squamous cell carcinoma occurs when the squamous cells on the ear, become damaged and begin to grow out of control. As a result of its ability to spread, squamous cell skin cancer is more serious than basal cell carcinoma.


The diagnosis of melanomas of the ear is very rare and a much more serious one than either basal or squamous cell carcinomas. In comparison with other types of skin cancer, melanomas are more likely to spread to surrounding tissues on the face. Usually, melanoma begins from cells called melanocytes that produce skin pigment. 

Treatment of skin cancer on the ear

Accordingly, skin cancer on ear treatment is usually based on the size and location of the cancerous growth.

Cancers of the external ear are typically removed. There may be a need for reconstructive surgery for skin cancer on the ear if you have large areas removed.

A temporal bone or ear canal cancer requires surgery followed by radiation therapy. An ear tumor will determine how much is removed.

The ear canal,  eardrum, and bone may need to be removed in some cases. Your doctor may be able to reconstruct your ear depending on how much is removed.

Some cases do not result in significant hearing loss. Depending on your case, hearing aids may be necessary.

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