Types of Skin Cancer
Almost half of the Australian adult population will have at least one form of skin cancer during their life.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia. Here at Skin Doctor SA, we are determined to help prevent and treat skin cancer for our sun lovers here in Adelaide.
Skin cancer types
At Skin Doctor SA, we offer comprehensive skin checks as well as surgical and non-surgical treatment of skin cancer and moles. With many thousands of new cases diagnosed annually, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia. There are three main types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinomas are the most common and least aggressive form of skin cancer. Formed as small, round or flattened spots which are red, pale or pearly in colour, they are usually found on the upper body, head or neck. Basal cell carcinomas continue to grow only in their original location and do not tend to spread to elsewhere in the body. Therefore, once the spot has been completely removed surgically, no further treatment is required.
- Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) are slightly more aggressive, and may occur for reasons other than excessive sun exposure, including chronic exposure to certain chemicals and in the presence of a chronic wound or scar. They appear as scaly red areas which may bleed easily, ulcers or non-healing sores which are often painful, especially when touched. Some SCCs have the ability to spread elsewhere in the body, including the lymph glands and other organs, but this tends to occur more frequently in larger cancers, and those which have been present for a longer period of time. Treatment of these cancers involves complete surgical removal of the cancerous spot, as well as close monitoring of the lymph glands in the area.
- Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, but also the least common and accounts for only 1–2% of all skin cancers. Melanoma can appear as a new or existing spot, freckle or mole that changes in colour, size or shape. They can spread to the surrounding lymph glands and other organs if not detected early. Treatment requires complete surgical removal of the cancerous area, along with the removal of a rim of normal skin from around the melanoma. The amount of normal skin which needs to be removed is determined by how thick the melanoma has become, and this is sometimes only known after the first operation to remove the melanoma. As such, it is sometimes necessary to have a second operation. If left untreated, melanoma has the capability of spreading to other parts of the body where it can be fatal.
The earlier a skin cancer can be identified and treated, the better the chance of avoiding surgery, or in the case of serious melanoma or other forms of skin cancer, potential health consequences which may result in death. In fact, more than 95% of skin cancers can be cured if treated early.
Skin Cancer Removal Adelaide
If you have been spending plenty of time in the sun this summer, or if it simply is time to get your annual skin check, come to our practice for a comprehensive check. You can book an appointment or get more information by contacting us today.