Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Treatment Gold Coast

Queensland has some of the highest incidences in the world of a variety of skin cancers

This is due to the amount and type of sunshine we have and like to enjoy here. There is also a deficiency in the ozone layer here that makes skin cancer more prevalent. Skin cancer is divided into melanoma, which is essentially the most aggressive type and non-melanoma skin cancers. Dr Raja Sawhney has an immense and diverse experience in treating the simplest to the most difficult types including ones, which have moved to other parts of the body.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

These types of skin cancers develop in the epidermis, the top layer of skin. They are largely related to sun exposure and UV light and thus mostly located in sun-exposed areas of the body. Here at Sculpted Clinic, skin cancer prevention and early detection is emphasised. Regular skin checks allows for the early removal and treatment of skin cancers.

Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC)

BCC’s are the most common type of skin cancers. These are generally slow growing tumours that rarely spread to other parts of the body. However, if left untreated, they can grow aggressively and invade surrounding structures.

Diagnosis is made with a biopsy. Not all lesions are biopsied, as straight forward reasonably obvious lesions that are not particularly large are often treated non-surgically without formal diagnosis or excised surgically and sent to pathology for diagnosis.

Depending on the location and size of the BCC, there are a number of treatment options available:

  • Topical therapies including Imiquimod and Fluorouracil
  • Cryotherapy – using liquid nitrogen to treat small superficial lesions
  • Surgical excision
    • The lesion is cut out and sent to pathology for confirmation of complete excision
    • If the lesion is large, a flap or skin graft might be used for repair
    • For advanced cancers, a multidisciplinary approach with combination of surgery, radiotherapy and targeted therapies are utilised

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

SCC’s are invasive tumours, which left untreated, grow locally and spread to distant areas (metastasise). SCC’s usually arise from an existing rough scaly patches (actinic keratosis) or an intra-epidermal carcinoma.

Diagnosis is made with a biopsy. SCC’s are classified as low-risk or high-risk depending on the chance of recurrence and the risk of metastasis. Characteristics of a high-risk SCC include:

  • Diameter and thickness of more than 2mm
  • Poorly differentiated on histology
  • Invasion of the subcutaneous tissue, nerves or blood vessels
  • Located on the lip, ear, central face, hands, feet or genitalia
  • Lesions in elderly of immune-compromised patients

SCC, if metastatic, spread to regional lymph nodes, lungs, liver, brain, bones and skin. Further diagnostic imaging and tests are required if risk of metastases is high.

Depending on the location and size of the SCC, there are a number of treatment options available:

  • For low risk lesions, particularly on the trunk or limbs, shave, curettage and electrocautery may be used
  • For small, thin and low-risk lesions, aggressive cryotherapy may be used
  • Surgical excision
    • The lesion is cut out and sent to pathology for confirmation of complete excision
    • If the lesion is large, a flap or skin graft might be used for repair
  • For advanced cancers, a multidisciplinary approach with combination of surgery, radiotherapy and targeted therapies are utilised

Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma is a tumour of the pigment cells in the skin (melanocytes). Non-cancerous growth of these cells includes moles (benign melanocytic naevi) and freckles. Australia has the highest rates of melanoma in the world. Risk factors for developing melanoma include increasing age, previous melanomas, previous BCC or SCC’s, multiple moles, family history of melanoma and very pale, white skin that burns easily.

Melanomas can arise within a mole of freckle or, most commonly, from normal appearing skin. These lesions can arise anywhere in the body, not just in sun-exposed areas. The lesions often start as irregular moles or freckles of a variety of colours that look different to other moles or freckles on the body. They start as flat lesions, and as they continue to grow, they may become thickened and raised.

Diagnosis is made with a biopsy.

Classification of Melanoma

  • In situ – confined to the epidermis (superficial layer of the skin)
  • Invasive  – spread through the dermis (deep layer of the skin)
  • Metastatic – spread to other tissues

Depending on the location and size of the lesion, there are a number of treatment options available:

  • Surgical excision
    • The larger the lesion, the larger the excision required
    • The lesion is cut out and sent to pathology for confirmation of complete excision
    • If the lesion is large, a flap or skin graft might be used for repair
  • Lymph node resection may be required
  • Radiotherapy

Skin Cancer Clinic

Regular skin checks are important for the early detection and thus early treatment of skin cancers. Visit the Sculpted Clinic for a skin cancer check with our experienced staff.

Sun Damaged Skin

Here at Sculpted Clinic, we offer many non-invasive treatment options to target sun-damaged skin to reduce the chance of skin cancers and improve the overall tone and quality of the skin.

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