Skin cancer treatments

Dr Majid Alinia provides responsible and compassionate specialist care.

Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example, by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

There are three main types of skin cancer:

  • • Basal cell cell cancer or BCC
  • • Squamus cell cancer or SCC
  • • Melanoma

Approximately, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70. BCC is the most common and Melanoma is the third most common but the worst type of skin cancer.

  • • Skin cancers are the most common cancers diagnosed in Australia
  • • Skin cancers are the most common cancers diagnosed in Australia
  • • The incidence of skin cancer in Australia is one of the highest in the world

Symptoms of skin cancer

  • • BCC (Basal Cell Cancer)
  • • The most common, usually pink and may bleed or itch
  • • Growth is confined locally, potentially more dangerous on the face
  • • SCC (Squamous Cell Cancer)
  • • More serious, as they can spread to the lymph glands
  • • Often arise from sunspots
  • • Are usually scaly and may be tender
  • • Melanoma
  • • The most serious, as they can spread via the blood stream throughout the body
  • • Can arise anywhere on the body, including the face, scalp, lips, ears, under fingernails or toenails (brown stripes), on the soles of feet, and in areas that have never seen the sun!
  • • Can be raised or flat, fast or slow growing, and rarely, pink in colour (especially in fair skinned people)

Diagnosis of skin cancer

Self skin check is an important. Check for any new lesion or changes in you skin. Any change in colour, shape or size of skin lesion could be a sign of skin cancer. Check with you doctor if you notice any change or find a new lesion.

The other important way of finding is having regular skin check by your doctor. Your doctor will tell you how often you need a skin check according to you skin type, gender, age, history of sun exposure and personal and family history of skincancer.

At a skin cancer visit patient’s skin is fully examined using a Dermatoscope which is a specificallydesigned magnifying optic (10 fold magnification)with a trans-illuminating light source. It uses polarised and non polarised light. Polarised light allows for visualisation of deeper structures of skin while non polarised light is more for superficial parts of skin. Digital photography of skin lesions by a digital camera and its Dermoscopic lens( like DermLite FOTO II Pro) allows the skin cancer doctor to examine these HD photos of skin Lesions in high resolution computer screens. An advantage of digital photography is saving photos for future comparison.

Treatment of skin cancer

Most skin cancer are removed surgically. Surgical removal required repairing the defect which is most of the time by direct closure. Larger skin defect or certain areas of the body might require different types of repairs like surgical flap or skin grafts. Most of these treatment is performed at our clinic in a dedicated treatment room. More advanced skin cancers are referred to local hospitals. This might involve other treatments like major surgeries, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Some skin cancers could be treated by different methods like cryotherapy (freezing by liquid nitrogen such as diathermy burning) or curettage (scraping) at our clinic.