SKIN CANCER TREATMENTS AT ST. MICHAEL’S CLINIC, SHREWSBURY
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, with over 400 people being diagnosed every day. There are three main types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The first two are both known as non-melanoma skin cancer and are the most common types.
One of the first symptoms that could indicate the presence of non-melanoma cancerous cells is the appearance of a lump or patch on the skin which doesn’t heal within a few weeks. Cancerous lumps are typically red and firm, whilst patches are usually flat and scaly. Any skin abnormality that has not healed after four weeks should be checked out by a specialist. It is unlikely to be cancer, but it’s always best to get these things checked out for your own peace of mind. The appearance of a new mole, or any changes to an existing mole anywhere on the body, could be an indication of a melanoma.
HOW IS SKIN CANCER TREATED?
Here at St. Michael’s Clinic, we offer a range of services if you require a check, diagnosis or treatment. Find out more about our main skin cancer services:
Mohs surgery is an effective skin cancer treatment, most commonly used to treat basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). The Mohs procedure works by removing the tumor gradually in small layers and examining the tissue until all the cancerous cells have been removed. This precise removal technique leaves as much healthy tissue as possible.
Small skin cancers can be removed by excision surgery. This surgery involves cutting out the cancerous cells as well as an area of healthy skin around it. This area of healthy skin is checked to ensure all the cancerous tissue has been removed. The surgery is likely to be carried out using local anesthetic and a skin graft may be needed depending on the amount of skin removed.
For small skin cancers, curettage and electrocautery can be used as treatment. This involves using a small blade to scrape the cancer from the body and then using heat or electricity to remove any remaining cancer cells and to stop any bleeding.
Photodynamic Therapy (PTD) is a simple, non-invasive procedure that can be used to treat precancerous skin lesions. The treatment uses topical cream and light therapy to destroy cancerous and precancerous cells but doesn’t affect healthy tissue. Traditional photodynamic therapy uses artificial light as the light source, but this treatment can also take the form of daylight photodynamic therapy where natural sunlight is used.
Cryotherapy, also called cryosurgery is a skin cancer treatment which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy cancerous cells. This treatment works when the cancer is small and only affects the upper layers of the skin. The liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the cancerous cells and a scab is formed, about two weeks later the scab will fall off along with the cancerous cells. You may need a couple of treatments to fully remove the cancerous cells.
A chemotherapy cream can be applied directly to the skin to treat non-melanoma skin cancers which are contained in the top layer of the skin. This treatment is applied by the patient and so can be done from home with instruction from a doctor. The cream is applied daily for around 3-4 weeks depending on the location and severity of the lesion and will make the skin sore and inflamed. The cream will have destroyed the cancerous cells and the skin is then left to heal. As only the surface of the skin is affected, you won’t experience the side effects associated with other forms of chemotherapy, such as vomiting or hair loss, however, your skin may feel sore for several weeks afterwards.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Skin cancer is not hereditary in the sense that it is passed down through a gene. However, skin type does run in families so those more likely to develop skin cancer are often in the same family.
Protecting your skin is, of course, always the best course of action. The easiest ways you can do this include:
- Wearing a waterproof, high level of SPF protection when in the sun
- Use a daily moisturiser with SPF protection
- Avoid the sun when it is at its strongest during the day
- Wear a hat when in the sun
- Sit in the shade
REQUEST A CALL BACK
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WHY TREAT YOUR SKIN CANCER AT ST. MICHAEL'S CLINIC?
Here at St. Michael’s Clinic, Shrewsbury’s leading private skin and laser treatment clinic, our experts are specialists in all aspects of dermatology, skin cancer, anti-ageing and beauty treatments. We are able to offer NHS patients a consultant led dermatology service from our sites in Shrewsbury and Much Wenlock.
St. Michael’s Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring the best level of treatment is provided to you in a safe environment. We are part of the Dermatology Partnership, a leading group of dermatology clinics, defined by clinical excellence and focusing on leading dermatological care.