Is a new or pre-existing mole which is cancerous. These cancers require urgent removal by excision. A diagnosis can only be made with a biopsy on histology. They are removed according to the depth of the lesion
These patients require strict follow-up on the oncology program with Mole Mapping and skin examination.
Patients at risk for melanoma are:
- Those with a family history
- Those with a fair skin which burn easily
- Patients with more than three severe blistering burns before the age of 18 years.
Actinic / solar keratoses are pre-cancerous areas of sun damage which occur due to everyday sun exposure.
They occur most commonly on sun exposed skin: The face, scalp, ears, arms and hands. They appear red and scaly or are barely visible but feel like sandpaper. If left untreated they can go on to develop into a squamous cell carcinoma.
These lesions are easily managed with:
- Topical chemotherapy (creams)
- Photodynamic Therapy
Basal Cell Carcinoma
These are small cancers of the skin which occur mostly on sun exposed areas of the skin. They start off as a scar-like or pearly lesion and gradually grow locally. BCC cannot spread in the blood, but it is locally destructive. It is especially important that it is diagnosed and completely excised as soon as possible to prevent further destruction to the face.
There are other treatment options for BCC such as:
- Topical imiquimod
- Intralesional interferon alpha
But it is important to decide this with the Doctor.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma develops from sun damaged areas which present as actinic or solar keratoses (red rough patches) It presents as a red often non-healing lesion or ulcer. It can spread to local lymph nodes so prompt and adequate treatment is important. There may be a need for radiotherapy. This will be decided based on the severity of the cancer.