Pymble Dermatology

Skin Cancer Management

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, affecting millions of people every year. While it seems like a life-threatening condition, the good thing is that all skin cancers can be treated if diagnosed, treated, and managed early. 

Regardless of whether it’s life-threatening or not, it is important to note that every type of skin cancer should be taken seriously. The earlier it is diagnosed, the less invasive it is and the higher the chances of treatment success.

Types of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer happens when there is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It is likely to develop in the areas of the skin that are usually exposed to the rays of the sun. It can happen to any people, no matter the color and the race. 

There are four known types of cancer: actinic keratoses, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

  1. Actinic Keratoses (AK)

People who suffer from this type of skin cancer are those who have fair skin. The scaly patches and spots that come with this skin cancer are considered precancerous growths.

  1. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

This is probably the most common type of skin cancer. People who are at risk for this cancer are those with fair skin, but it can also happen to those with darker skin.

  1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC )

Another type of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. It is characterised by red firm bumps and scaly patches that re-opens. It forms on any skin that is frequently exposed to the sun.

  1. Melanoma

This is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It usually starts in a mole and eventually turns into dark skin spots. For melanoma, early diagnosis and treatment are vital.

Types of Surgery for Skin Cancer

For skin cancers that have not yet spread, surgery can be performed. However, the more aggressive types of skin cancers may need more extensive surgeries.

Below are the most common types of surgeries recommended by trusted skin cancer clinic Sydney for skin cancer:

  1. Excision

In the procedure, a surgeon uses a sharp razor and scalpel to cut or shave off a skin growth. To make the affected area numb, local anesthesia may be given to the patient. 

  1. Cryosurgery 

Also called cryotherapy, this procedure uses liquid nitrogen to destroy and freeze the cancer cells. It can be repeated several times. But remember that the treated area may end up blistering or swelling.

  1. Photodynamic Therapy

It is a skin cancer that involves the use of a drug called a photosensitizing agent and a special type of light. When the photosensitizing agent is exposed to the light, a type of oxygen is formed that is believed to kill nearby cancer cells.. 

  1. Curette and Cautery

This procedure is used for treating squamous cell carcinoma and BCCs. In the process, a local anesthetic is administered by a dermatologist. He or she will then scoop out the cancer using a small instrument called curette. To stop the bleeding and destroy the rest of the cancer cells, low-level heat is applied (cautery).

Full Skin Examination

When left untreated, skin cancers will grow and can spread to regional lymph nodes and other organs, especially Melanoma.. During a full skin examination, you will be asked about sun exposure history.  Then, our dermatologist will examine you from head to toes to identify any suspicious skin lesion, if resembling skin cancer, you will then require a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.  

Diagnosis: Clinical/Dermatoscopy/Skin Biopsies

Dermoscopy is a low-cost yet efficient tool that can improve a dermatologist’s accuracy in diagnosing skin cancer.  It consists of a magnifier, a light source (polarized or non-polarised), a transparent plate and a sometimes a liquid medium between the instrument and the skin. 

Total Body Photography

In Pymble Dermatology, photographs are taken and archive if clinically required.  This is one way of monitoring moles or any suspicious skin lesions prior to biopsy.  However, Dermatologists at Pymble Dermatology liaise with the Melanoma Institute of Australia for arrangement of total body photography for our patients.  This procedure is used to detect and monitor atypical nevi and dysplastic for the early detection of malignant melanomas.

Should you wish to speak with professional and experienced dermatologists, reach out to Pymble Dermatology – a skin cancer clinic Sydney . Call us at 02 80685006 or send an email to info@pymbledermatology.com.au