All skin changes are not necessarily cancers, however if concerned it is important to show your doctor or dermatologist for a professional assessment of any abnormal areas of skin.
A full body skin examination can be done to check for any abnormal areas of skin. If a skin cancer is suspected, a biopsy can be performed. A biopsy involves a doctor taking a small sample of the abnormal area which is then sent to the pathology lab for testing. If metastasis is suspected, follow up testing such as imaging tests and further biopsy of body tissue can be undertaken. Treatment for skin cancers is dependent upon the type of skin cancer, the location and the size. Other factors such as age and other health problems are also taken into consideration when determining treatment.
Surgery: this option is used to remove or destroy the cancer. There are many types of surgery that can treat skin cancer.
Radiation Therapy: kills cancer cells in the body
Skin cream: strong topical creams that can be directly applied to the skin cancer.
Photodynamic Therapy: kills cancer cells. This treatment involves using a special cream and light to treat the skin cancer.
Post-treatment: after skin cancer diagnosis, skin check should be regularly undertaken to monitor the areas of previous cancer or detect new skin cancers that may appear. Patients should also undertake self-check and notify their doctor of any skin changes that arise.
if a skin cancer returns or a new cancer manifests, the same treatment options are utilised – surgery, radiation therapy, skin creams. Various prevention methods can be used to protect the skin from sun rays, stay out of the sun when UV rays are strongest (from 10am-4pm), wear and reapply sunscreen often, wear a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt or long pants and not use tanning beds