Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Treatment Perth

Skin Cancer

What is it

Skin cancers are most often caused by spending too much time in the sun. Excessive ultraviolet radiation can upset normal skin cells and over time they become abnormal. The damaged cells can then grow out of control, leading to precancerous skin lesions that can become skin cancers.

Risk factors for skin cancer include:

  • Family history
  • Sun exposure (e.g., during childhood or from working outdoors)
  • Fair skin
  • Lots of moles or atypical moles.

Types of skin cancers

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): The most common type of skin cancer in Australia. Basal cells are located in the top layer of the skin. The most common areas for them to occur are sun exposed sites like the face, head, neck, arms and back. This type of skin cancer grows very slowly and rarely spreads. It needs to be removed otherwise it will continue to grow and could spread into the deeper tissues below the skin. Your dermatologist will advise you on the best treatment options for your BCC depending on the size, type of BCC and the location on your body. There are a variety of treatments available including nonsurgical and surgical options.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): Like BCCs, the squamous cells are located in the top layer of the skin. SCC is relatively common in Australia and appears in sun exposed areas like the face, scalp and the back of hands. SCC’s need to be removed completely as they can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Melanoma: These are less common skin cancers but, as they can spread to other areas of the body, early removal is important. Melanomas are usually irregularly shaped and multicoloured skin spots. They can be a brand-new spot in previously normal skin or may start from a mole that was already present. This mole will usually change over a few months. The signs to look for in a changing mole are increased size, change in shape or colour and new lumps within it.

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