There are two main categories of skin cancer – melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma (also known as ‘malignant melanoma’) is less common than non-melanoma cancers, but is the most dangerous. Non-melanoma skin cancers are mainly comprised of ‘Basal Cell Carcinoma’ (BCC) and ‘Squamous Cell Carcinoma’ (SCC). BCC is the most common and the least dangerous.
Jersey has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer worldwide. It is important to prevent skin from excessive sun exposure and to regularly monitor moles and other possibly cancer-related skin lesions.
General Practitioners (GPs) can check your skin periodically, many of them are experienced in dermoscopy. You should let them know about any moles or naevi which are new or changing. For any lesions suspected to be malignant melanoma and possibly other non-melanoma skin cancers your GP will refer you to a dermatologist. It may be required to perform a biopsy – taking a small sample of the lesion for microscopic examination. Some skin cancers or pre-cancer lesions can be treated with topical creams, cryotherapy (freezing them out) or light (photodynamic therapy). Some other cancers including all malignant melanoma should be excised surgically. All cancer treatment types are offered at Advanced Dermatology Clinic.