There are three main types of skin cancer, two of which - basal cell and squamous cell - are generally slow-growing and respond well to treatment. The third type - malignant melanoma - is more of a concern and should be treated as soon as possible after detection. Some people - especially those who are very fair-skinned - should consider regular screening for melanoma.
The first symptom of melanoma you are likely to notice is a change to a mole on your body. It may become bigger than usual, or become a different colour, or itch or bleed.
If your doctor suspects your mole may be cancerous it will probably be removed under local anaesthetic and examined under a microscope. This may be all that is required for very early cancers but in other cases the doctors may want to undertake further treatment, including removing a wider area to ensure all the cancer cells have been removed, or tests to check whether the cancer has spread.
If your cancer has not spread and is not too deep then cutting out the mole, regular screening for any changes and keeping out of the sun may be all that is needed.
More advanced cancers, for example ones which have spread to other parts of the body and cancer which come back may need more treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Ramsay hospitals offers a range of screening and diagnostic procedures at a time convenient to you, and also offers treatment for some of the most common types of cancer. We offer the support of multi-disciplinary teams who will be working together to ensure you get the care which is right for you.
If you would like to discuss possible tests or treatment contact us.