Skin Cancer Treatment Clinic London
Skin cancer is one of the world’s most common forms of cancer. One of the biggest risk factors is exposure to sunlight; people with paler skin tones are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer because they are more vulnerable to UV damage from the sun’s rays. Dr Daniel Glass is a consultant dermatologist and lead clinician for skin cancer at The Dermatology Clinic.
One of the commonest skin cancers in the UK is Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). BCCs are usually painless and often appear as a scab that occasionally bleeds and doesn’t completely heal. Some look like a flat, pink, scaly mark and other are surrounded by a pearl-like rim. If this type of BCC is left for a long time, it can eventually erode the skin and cause an ulcer. Other BCCs feel lumpy and have shiny nodules on them crossed by small but visible blood vessels.
An estimated 300,000 BBCs are treated every year in Britain and though this type does not spread to other organs, it can continue to grow locally so it’s important to get it treated as early as possible.
Less common than BCC, Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a more dangerous form of skin cancer and often develops in areas that have been exposed to the sun. These areas include the neck, parts of the head and the back of the forearms and hands. SCCs initially don’t usually cause pain and normally look like a crusty or scaly area of skin with an inflamed, red base.
This type of skin cancer, if left, can spread. It grows faster than BCC so it’s important to get it diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Melanoma is rarer than non-melanoma skin cancers, but it poses a greater threat as it can be much more aggressive. A melanoma usually presents as a new pigmented mole on the skin or changes in the appearance of an existing mole. It is essential to contact our dermatologists if you discover any changes or if any new moles appear.
Skin examination and biopsy
During a process called dermatoscopy, our expert dermatologists will examine the affected area using a special instrument known as a dermatoscope, which enables us to monitor and observe the skin lesions closely. Although this is a helpful method for checking the progress of the lesion, it is insufficient for a full diagnosis. For this reason, we may biopsy the lesion, which will usually involve removing it entirely.
Treating skin cancer
Experts at The Dermatology Clinic use a number of methods to treat skin cancer, depending on the type and stage. Treatments include:
- Surgery – surgically removing the cancerous tissue is straightforward and prevents any growth or spreading
- Cryotherapy – this involves destroying the cancer cells by exposing them to liquid nitrogen and used for cases of superficial BCC
- Topical treatment – for early forms of skin cancer, our dermatologists might prescribe a cream to kill the abnormal cells in the skin
- Photodynamic therapy – this uses a photosensitising agent alongside a special kind of light to destroy cancerous cells
Making an appointment
It’s understandable to feel anxious if you spot a strange lesion on your skin. If you are concerned you may have skin cancer, it is important to get an assessment as soon as possible. Arrange an appointment at The Dermatology Clinic today to ease your mind and get the treatment you need at the earliest possible stage.