Understanding Skin Cancer
The video offers an introduction to skin cancer, with the guide to symptoms of suspicious lesions helpful, although some cases are harder to define.
Skin cancer is caused by abnormal cells which multiply locally, or at times spread to other parts of the body. Whilst there are other rare causes, the prime trigger for skin cancer is exposure to the sun.
As with any cancer, early, accurate diagnosis helps greatly, reducing treatment levels, tissue removal, or scarring and improving the outcome of treatment. If caught early, cure rates are close to 100%.
More advanced cases can be treated effectively and whatever the stage, we are here to help. Our core message is still that if you suspect you have a skin cancer, please see a specialist at the first opportunity.
Successful skin cancer treatment comes from efficient diagnosis, for conditions which can look quite similar, or require care to identify as active or benign.
The experienced eye of a consultant is a key tool, backed up by scientific support. This may be dedicated equipment, such as the latest image enhancing and retaining microscopes, or the assistance of a lab.
Modern microscopy has reduced the need for biopsies but they can still be required. A section of the affected area is surgically removed with care, perhaps a local anaesthetic will be used, or at times not be needed.
The sample is analysed by a cellular pathologist, with knowledge of skin cancers. The result quickly returned to your consultant, which may be part of confirming a safe position, or decision making on treatment.
Treating Skin Cancer
Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or immunotherapy can be part of treating advanced melanoma. In most cases though, including melanoma, the best answer is complete surgical removal of the tumour.
Our consultant surgeons can often carry this out as a day surgery procedure and will adopt the best approach to maximise a cure, whilst minimising tissue damage.
We work with in-house and external specialists to provide a dedicated skin cancer technique called Mohs surgery. Whether this, or normal excision is suitable will depend on the unique nature of each case.
The primary need is to completely remove the cancerous tissue, although Mohs and wider surgical excision are both used with aesthetic requirements in mind.
A high proportion of cases will simply see wounds closed by your consultant surgeon, with minimal effect once healed. Where there is a noticeable cosmetic problem, plastic surgery is available.
Complete In House Care
Having leading reconstructive and plastic surgeons on our team is an asset. As is the presence of specialists with experience of facial skin cancers, or those affecting the head, or neck, or related oral cancers.
We still feel that the most important aspect of caring for our patients is to ensure they receive the support they deserve. Every skin cancer and every person is different.
In depth personal diagnosis leads the way at our Harley Street clinic. If you are concerned about abnormal moles, or potentially cancerous skin lesions, by all means contact our friendly team.