Early diagnosis and fast treatment of skin cancer
Early diagnosis can make a huge difference to the treatment you need and to your long term prognosis.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK, affecting over 60,000 people in England and Wales each year, and is on the increase. As with so many cancers early diagnosis can make a huge difference to the treatment you need and to your long term prognosis.
At BPS, we hold a weekly skin cancer clinic, RASCAL (Rapid Access Skin Cancer & Lesion). This gives you the opportunity to have any areas of concern examined there and then by a qualified consultant plastic surgeon with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers.
Those thought to be cancerous can usually be removed the same day, but certainly no later than one week after diagnosis. Non-urgent moles and lesions can be removed at a time to suit you. All the moles and lesions we remove are sent for full histology, and you will be informed of the results.
We feel very strongly that this is a vital service to offer to our patients. Early diagnosis and treatment could make the difference between life and death. Even if your skin condition is found to be harmless, at least you have the peace of mind of knowing that it is nothing to worry about.
There are three main types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.
Malignant melanoma is the most serious type because it can spread to other areas of the body. It accounts for only 10% of all skin cancers in the UK, but accounts for more than 1,500 deaths in England and Wales each year.
Malignant melanoma can appear almost anywhere on your body, but usually appears on the back, legs, arms and face. The first signs are the appearance of a new mole or change in appearance of an existing one. They tend to have an irregular shape, consist of more than one colour, and are larger than 6mm (1/4”) in diameter. Sometimes they may also itch or bleed.
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas tend to appear on parts of the body that have been exposed to the sun.
Basal cell carcinoma is the easiest skin cancer to treat, and the most common type. Signs include a flat, scaly and crusty red spot or a small smooth bump on the skin. There may be itching and bleeding.
Squamous cell carcinomas are relatively easy to treat, but there is more chance of them spreading. Signs include a firm red lump or a flat, scaly and crusted scab-like area on your skin.
If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact us immediately to book an appointment at our RASCAL clinic.