Our faces are the most significant part of our body, yet are often exposed to skin cancer causing UV rays from the sun.
Whilst complete removal of tumourous tissue must be the ultimate goal in facial skin cancer management, there is a further need. Cosmetic and functional outcomes are more important in this area than anywhere else.
Good solutions minimise psychological effects and maintain core parts of a normal life. They should be integral to diagnosis, planning and treatment, for a condition which has increased in recent times.
The Primary Issues
Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer can appear on the face, scalp, ears, or neck. This has a notable capacity to spread to other areas and may be fatal if untreated, although is a less common form of skin cancer.
Non melanoma skin cancers are the most common cancer in the UK and the face is the prevalent area for them to appear. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is most often seen, with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) next in line.
BCCs rarely spread to other parts of the body, although they can damage nearby tissue structures. SCCs tend to be more aggresive, with a 5% chance of invading lymph nodes and a higher tendency to spread locally.
These outcomes suggest the importance of early intervention and this is so vital in helping to preserve the facial structure. Suspecting you have skin cancer and waiting to see how this develops is not helpful.
Seeking Immediate Care
High quality care, diagnosis and treatment are key to success, for all types of skin cancer. We should still note that however good the support is, the stage a cancer has reached is a critical factor.
Swift intervention offers close to 100% cure rates, even for more serious skin cancers, whereas at the final stages of conditions such as melanoma, 5 year survival rates can fall below 20%.
Promptness also helps with other aspects which matter in facial skin cancer. Underlying tissue can remain intact, reducing the need to transplant areas and allowing natural healing, for the best cosmetic results.
Specialist maxillofacial clinics such as ours have the skills to rebuild in a remarkable way but all the better if we do not have to. Time and expense are saved, above all, your long term health will benefit.
If you find a skin issue on your face, neck, or scalp which is unexplained, please arrange to visit a specialist. In many cases, they can put your mind at ease, or arrange prompt skin cancer treatment where needed.