Quality Care, Locally Delivered

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

We specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers.

Skin Cancer is very common around the world. There are two main types of Skin Cancer: the more common but less serious Non-Melanoma, and Malignant Melanoma, often just called Melanoma.

Most people diagnosed with Skin Cancer are over 50, but anyone can develop Skin Cancer.

You’re more likely to get it if you have any of the following:

  • Lots of moles or freckles
  • Fair skin that burns easily
  • Red or fair hair
  • Light-coloured eyes
  • A history of sunburn
  • A personal or family history of Skin Cancer

How common is it?

Around 72,100 cases of Non Melanoma Skin Cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year. This makes it the most common type of cancer by far and it tends to be under reported. Because Non Melanoma Skin Cancers are easy to treat and cure, they’re often left out of national cancer statistics.

What to look out for

The most common sign of Skin Cancer is a change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin. It’s important to know your skin and what it looks like normally so you notice any unusual or persistent changes. Use a mirror, or ask your partner or a friend to check the areas of your skin that you can’t see.

Below are some things to look out for in Melanoma Skin Cancer. Please be aware that not all Skin Cancers look like this. These pictures are just examples and are not to scale.

Symmetry: The two sides don’t look the same
Border: Irregular border – edges may be blurred or jagged
Colour: Uneven colour, with more than one shade
Size: Large size – usually at least the size of the end of a pencil

Types of Skin Cancer

Non Melanoma Skin Cancer includes 2 main types:

  • Basal Cell Skin Cancer (BCC)
  • Squamous Cell Skin Cancer (SCC)

They’re named after the types of skin cells where the cancer develops. It’s possible for a Non Melanoma Skin Cancer to be a mixture of both these types.

Non Melanoma Skin Cancer is different from Melanoma. Melanoma is the type of Skin Cancer that most often develops from a mole. Learn more here.

Basal Cell Skin Cancer

BCC is the most common type of Skin Cancer. About 75 out of every 100 cases (75%) of Non Melanoma Skin Cancers are BCCs. They develop from basal cells and these are found in the deepest layer of the epidermis and around the hair follicle.

They develop mostly in areas of skin exposed to the sun including parts of the face such as the nose, forehead and cheeks. Also, on your back or lower legs.

It is most often diagnosed in people who are middle or old age.

There’s a number of different subtypes, each can look and behave differently. These include:

  • Nodular
  • Superficial
  • Morphoeic
  • Pigmented

About a half of BCCs are the nodular type.

It’s very rare for Basal Cell Skin Cancer to spread to another part of the body to form a Secondary Cancer. It’s possible to have more than one Basal Cell Cancer at any one time and having had one does increase your risk of getting another. Learn more here.

Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

SCC is generally faster growing than Basal Cell Cancers. About 20 out of every 100 cases (20%) of Skin Cancers are SCC. They begin in cells called Keratinocytes, found in the epidermis layer of the skin.

Most SCCs develop in areas that have been exposed to the sun. These areas include parts of the head, neck, and on the back of your hands and forearms. They can also develop in scars, areas of skin that have been burnt in the past, or that have been ulcerated for a long time.

SCCs don’t often spread. If they do, it’s most often to the deeper layers of the skin. They can spread to nearby lymph nodes and other organs causing secondary cancers, but this is unusual. Learn more here.

Rarer types of Non Melanoma Skin Cancer

There are other less common types of Skin Cancer. These make up only about 1 out of every 100 (1%) Skin Cancers diagnosed in the UK. They are:

  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  • Kaposi’s Sarcoma
  • T cell Lymphoma of the skin

These are all treated differently from Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma is very rare. Treatment is with surgery or radiotherapy, or both. This usually works well, but sometimes the cancer can come back in the same place. And sometimes it spreads to nearby lymph nodes.

Kaposi’s Sarcoma is a rare condition. It’s often associated with HIV but also occurs in people who don’t have HIV. It’s a cancer that starts in the cells that form the lining of blood vessels in the skin. Treatment is surgery or radiotherapy, and sometimes chemotherapy.

T cell Lymphoma of the skin can also be called Primary Cutaneous Lymphoma. Learn more here.

Bowen’s Disease

Bowen’s Disease is a very early form of Non Melanoma Skin Cancer. It can appear anywhere on the skin and usually looks like a red patch that might be itchy. It is most commonly found on the lower leg, particularly in older women.

It can also develop on moist membranes of the body. For example, it can appear as a white patch in the mouth or a red patch in the genital area.

If not treated Bowen’s Disease might develop into Squamous Cell Skin Cancer. Learn more here.

What are the Treatments?

Treatment of most Skin Cancers involves minor surgery under local anaesthetic to remove them.

Some cancers may be treatable with creams, frozen with liquid nitrogen or treated with radiotherapy. It is important to see a specialist who can discuss all the options with you. Treatment is successful in the vast majority of cases.

What Should I do if I Think I have Skin Cancer?

The main test to diagnose Skin Cancer is to take a sample (Biopsy) of the area. Find out about the different biopsies.

You need to go to your GP if you are worried about an abnormal area of skin. Your GP might refer you to a specialist if they think you have Skin Cancer. Or they might do a Biopsy themselves if they have had the specialist training.

Why should I find Treatment Privately?

An advantage of ‘going private’ is that we can usually see you within a few days of referral, and offer a ‘see and treat’ service i.e. removal of the lesion for biopsy in the same appointment. You can either refer yourself or be referred through your GP. The histology (analysis under the microscope) with be fast-tracked too, and your consultant or Plastic Surgeon will ring you personally with the results as soon as they are available. Our patients feel reassured by the professional, fast, personal and friendly service we offer and the team will stay in touch with you until you are discharged.

Consultations

See a Plastic Surgeon for a confidential and non-obligatory consultation for £150.00

Treatments

This website is designed to supply useful information but is not to be regarded as advice specific to any particular case. It does not replace the need for a thorough consultation and all prospective patients should seek the advice of a suitably qualified medical practitioner. These prices are a guide only and final costs will be confirmed following a consultation with your consultant.

For benign lesions skin sample biopsies are not usually required

From £500Primary excision of a single benign lesion
From £700Skin excision of multiple benign lesions (over one)

For all of the below surgeries, skin sample biopsies would be required and shall be added to the quotation.

From £500Primary excision of expected malignancy single lesion
From £700Skin excision of multiple benign lesions (over one)

The surgeries indicated below will require an appointment one week after surgery with a Dressings Clinic Nurse. This is included in the quoted fee.

From £800Local flap procedureFrom £900Full thickness graft
From £800Wedge excision biopsyFrom £800Revision of scar

SKIN SAMPLE BIOPSIES

£180for up to 7 lesions£180Culture (skin scraping)
£180Skin swab£260Fine needle aspiration

All of our onsite services are performed under local anaesthetic. Any treatment requiring general anaesthetic would be discussed with you further.

NHS or Private

We are able to offer a range of consultations and treatments under the NHS. Please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances and requirements and our helpful team will confidentially and sensitively guide you through how we may be able to help.

DISCLAIMER*: This website is designed to supply useful information but is not to be regarded as advice specific to any particular case. It does not replace the need for a thorough consultation and all prospective patients should seek the advice of a suitably qualified medical practitioner.

We don’t believe in taking chances and nor should you, especially when it comes to your health and appearance. We believe that excellent patient care, high standards of practice, knowledge and training go hand in hand with delivering great aesthetic outcomes. We ensure that you don’t compromise on either.

That is why we are an accredited Save Face clinic and our qualified Aesthetic Nurse is also an accredited practitioner.

Keeping everyone safe during COVID-19

We are taking many extra measures, due to coronavirus, to ensure the safest environment for you and our staff when you visit. Prior to visiting all patients need to have had a negative lateral flow test. We will also be completing a temperature check on your arrival.

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