Skin Cancer: What is Melanoma?

03 Oct 2016 | Category: Medical
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melanoma checkThere are two main types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma

Non-melanoma is far more common than melanoma.

Non-Melanoma:

Non-Melanoma develops in cells in the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis). There are two types of non-melanoma:

  • Basal cell carcinoma or ‘BCC’ is the most common form of non-melanoma skin cancer, accounting for around 75% of all skin cancers. It tends to appear on the parts of the body most exposed to the sun (e.g. face, scalp, ears, hands shoulders and back). Basal cell carcinoma tends to grow slowly and not spread, so the outcomes are generally very good. Most Basal Cell Carcinomas are successfully treated and don’t spread. However, it is always important to take action as early as possible for the best outcomes.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer in the UK. These most commonly appear on the sun-exposed face, neck, lips, ears, hands, shoulders and limbs. Like Basal Cell Carcinoma, these tend to be slow growing and don’t spread to other parts of the body, so outcomes can be good if early action is taken.

Melanoma:

Melanoma is a cancer that usually starts in the skin, either in a mole or in normal-looking skin; although it can also occur in other parts of the body such as under the fingernails.

The risk of melanomas increases with age and tends to affect people over the age of 50. People who have a large number of moles (more than 100) have an increased risk of developing melanoma.

Melanoma develops from melanocytes that start to grow and multiply more rapidly than usual. The melanocytes then start to spread into the surrounding layers of skin and may get into the blood or lymphatic vessels, which enables the cancer to spread further.

Mole Checking and Removal

Many patients are bothered by the appearance of a mole but unsure whether it’s really serious or just a blemish.

Anybody worried about a mole or skin blemish is advised to see their GP ASAP. If there is a real concern (i.e. it looks ‘suspicious’ or ‘abnormal’), referral on the NHS should be made asap for surgical removal, which is funded on the NHS.

Most moles are not of medical concern and in these cases, there is rarely any treatment available on the NHS.

Private treatment provider Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of doctors working in 5 clinics carrying out mole removal on a daily basis. Services include:

Cosmedics Skin Clinics

Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors.  The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.

Call 020 7386 0464 or email info@cosmedics.co.uk to book an appointment.

 

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