Skin Cancer Clinic
We offer full skin examinations for the purpose of early detection of skin cancers. Most cancers are not dangerous if treated early. Our Doctors will advise you on the best way to treat your skin cancer depending on the type. Mode of treatment includes:
The Australian will have a lifestyle that may involve a significant lifetime exposure to the harsh Australian sun. This tends to predispose to skin cancers. Once cancers are identified, we can treat most lesions within the practice. Surgery is the most common option used and is commonly performed under local anaesthetic surgery, from simple excisions to flaps and skin grafting. In addition, other alternative non-surgical therapies also exist. We would advise our patients on these possibilities. If more complex treatment is needed, our patients will be referred to a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for further treatment.
Photodynamic therapy is an exciting and innovative non-surgical treatment for selected superficial skin cancers, avoiding the scar and potential problems of traditional surgery.
It involves the application of a photosensitising cream for three hours to the tumour site. A specialised light is then applied for about ten minutes, which activates the absorbed chemical to create reactions that destroys tumour cells. If used in the correct circumstances, the cure rate is high, without the scarring associated with surgery.
Our doctors will discuss the
possibility of photodynamic therapy with you to determine whether it would be suitable for you.
Cryosurgery (also called cryotherapy) is the use of extreme cold ( Freezing)produced by liquid nitrogen (or argon gas) to destroy abnormal tissues. For some types of skin cancers and Precancerous skin growths known as actinic keratosis, liquid nitrogen is applied directly to the cancer cells with a cotton swab or spraying device. Freezing may be the most suitable way of getting rid of many different kinds of surface skin lesion. It is relatively inexpensive, safe, and reliable. However, it is important that the skin lesion has been properly diagnosed. After a standard freeze of a solar keratosis, seborrhoeic keratosis or viral wart,
the skin may appear entirely normal without any sign of the original skin lesion.
However, cryotherapy may result in a white mark (hypopigmentation) or a scar, particularly when freezing has been deep or prolonged, as is required for a cancerous lesion.
Ointments or Creams
There are some new and exciting treatments for skin cancer that do not involve surgical excision. But all of them have limitations. They only work on certain specific skin cancers and only in certain locations. Our doctors will advise you if that is suitable for you.
According to Cancer Council Australia, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.
Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example, by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Every year, in Australia:
- skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
- between 95 and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
- GPs have over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
- the incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
*Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell
carcinoma are known as non-melanoma skin cancer.