Skin Cancer Types
Types of Skin Cancer
Dr Tucker is an expert in detecting skin cancer. He will always try to manage the lesion in the least invasive way possible (including non-surgically) and will discuss all options with you before deciding which treatment will be best.
BASAL CELL CANCER (BCC)
BCCs are the most common skin cancers. Usually they occur in the sun-exposed areas of the head, neck and upper torso but you can also get them on your arms and legs.
If left untreated they will just keep growing and eventually end up as a large unpleasant sore. As such it is best to get rid of them.
Surgical removal (excision) under local anaesthetic is the most common treatment but there are sometimes other options like freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy). Dr Tucker will always offer you the least aggressive, yet still effective, treatment possible, which will leave the least scarring.
The gold standard for removal of many BCCs on the face is Mohs Surgery.
Squamous Cell Cancer (SCC)
SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer and in many ways is similar to BCC, although they are more prone to spread internally if left untreated. Surgical removal under local anaesthetic is the best treatment. Again the gold standard for removal of many SCCs on the face is Mohs Surgery
Melanoma occurs less often than BCCs and SCCs but unfortunately is still far too common, especially in Australia which has the highest incidence in the world.
The problem with melanoma is it’s likely to spread internally and do harm if not caught early. This is where regular self-monitoring and skin checks come in.
Typically, melanoma is a brown spot, usually a mole, which is changing rapidly including getting bigger and changing shape or colour.
A simple guide when checking for Melanoma is to follow the A,B,C,D,E rule:
- A – Asymmetry The mole is not the same on both sides, one half is mismatched
- B – Border A spot with an irregular edge or border, may look ragged
- C – Colour Has blotchy spots that may include patches of different colours (black, pink, red, etc)
- D – Diameter Check if the mole is getting bigger
- E – Evolving The mole is changing
The treatment of melanoma is wide surgical excision followed by close monitoring for several years afterwards. The good news is that in Dr Tucker’s experience most people do survive melanoma.