Skin cancer is the easiest cancer to see and most can be cured with early treatment. Check your skin regularly and report any concerns to your doctor.
The main types of skin cancer are the BCC (basal cell carcinoma - the most common), SCC (squamous cell carcinoma) and melanoma, the most serious.
What to look for
- A spot or mole that changes in shape, size or colour over weeks or months
- A spot or mole that itches or bleeds
- A new freckle, lump, sore or scaly patch that doesn't heal
- A spot that looks different to the others
How is skin cancer treated?
Sometimes your doctor will do a biopsy first to make a diagnosis. This involves removing part or all of the suspicious area under a local or general anaesthetic and examining it under the microscope. Common treatments used include:
- Surgery. The tumour is cut out with an anaesthetic and the wound stitched.
- Curettage. The cancer is scraped away with a sharp spoon (curette) and the wound gently burned with a mild electric current (cautery) under local anaesthetic.
- Cryotherapy. Small tumours are sometimes frozen with liquid nitrogen spray.
- Radiation. Special X-Rays used to destroy cancer cells, particularly in difficult areas.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.Source: Summer 2000 Edition | Page 3
Email to a friend Printer Friendly Version