Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the world, and within the UK alone over 113,500 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. Skin cancer is split into two categories melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.
Melanoma: What is it?
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer which can spread throughout the body to other organs. It makes up around 13,500 new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year in the UK.
The most common and notable signs of melanoma is the appearance of new moles or changes in existing moles, these changes can occur anywhere on the body, though areas such as the back in men and legs in women are most commonly affected.
Non-melanoma: What is it?
Non-melanoma skin cancers usually develop in the outermost layer of the skin and account for over 100,000 new cases diagnosed in the UK each year. Non-melanoma skin cancers can occur in various forms with the two most common being Basel cell carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Basel Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – What is it?
BCC is a form of non-melanoma skin cancer which starts in the cells that line the bottom of the epidermis and usually appears as small, pearly, shiny pink growth. It may ulcer and not heal and therefore also given the name ‘Rodent ulcer’. BCCs by in large do not spread. They enlarge locally and cause tissue destruction.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – What is it?
SCC begins in the cells lining the top of the epidermis and can appear as a firm pink growth which often has a crusted, rough surface. These are often tender to touch and can bleed easily without healing. If left untreated they can enlarge and spread.
What causes melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers?
As with most cancers, the cause is due to the abnormal development of the body’s own cells, and in the case of skin cancer, those cells are the skin cells.
One of the most commonly thought causes of this abnormal development in the skin cells is over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, which can often occur when travelling to warmer climates, or the use of artificial tanning beds and sunlamps.
Other possible risk factors include:
- Previous melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers
- Prevalent family history of skin cancer
- Extremely pale skin that easily burns
- Large numbers of freckles and moles
- Use of medication that suppresses the immune system
Treatments used at LINIA Skin Clinic
Here at LINIA Skin our expert team of dermatologists have a wealth of skills and knowledge when it comes to treating Melanoma, Basel cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma.
Below is an outline of the steps we take in our treatment plans here at LINIA, however every case of skin cancer is different, so why not request a consultation with one of our expert dermatology team, who will be able to assess your individual case and develop a bespoke treatment plan for you.
- Initial consultation and examination with dermoscopy (magnifying glass).
- Excise and removal of the mole and site of cancerous skin cells.
- Conducting of histology tests on the excised skin cells.
- Discussion of the histology report in a multi-disciplinary team meeting.
- Discuss histology results with you and outline the next steps in your treatment if required.