Melbourne Plastic Surgery Blog

Melbourne Plastic Surgery Blog

Your skin cancer questions

Thursday, April 17, 2014

With summer over and many of us feeling just a teeny bit guilty about time spent in the sun (even with our sunscreen and cover ups) now is the perfect time to take stock of your skin and moles and get them checked.  Since its introduction MoleMap at Brighton Plastic Surgery has provided patients full body peace of mind when it comes to their skin and any areas of concern. 

We've collated a few of the most popular skin cancer questions patients raise and asked plastic surgeon Dr Ramin Shayan to share some insights:

  •  What’s the difference between a BCC and an SCC?

Firstly not all types of cancer are the same. BCC and SCC are the main category of skin cancers known as non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs).

A Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is a growth within the basal cells of the skin, that give rise to the new skin cells that renew our skin as part of normal life. In this process, mature skin cells (keratinocytes) shed off the surface and are replaced by younger fresher cells beneath, that start as the basal layer. This type of skin cancer is essentially not able to spread  (a small group that do spread have been described as having <0.05% chance of spreading!!), however it does keep growing larger in the local area. Depending on the type of BCC, it may keep burrowing deeper. 

A Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is also an uncontrolled growth of skin cells, but this occurs in more mature layers of the skin. Depending on the type, these cancers may also spread if neglected, but is unlikely to do so if excised in a relatively timely fashion.

  • Why did my doctor say it was OK to wait a few months to have surgery – isn't it a cancer? 

The answer is that 'cancers ain't cancers'. That means, that just the word cancer is not a death-sentence. A cancer is simply a growth of cells that has lost the normal ability of the body's cells to sense when there is something wrong, and to switch it off. There are many different types of cancer, originating in many different organs. Whilst some cancers do carry a poor survival rate, generally, the non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) - BCC and SCC are among the better types of cancer to have if caught early. If a BCC or SCC is in the early stages, it is best to treat them in the early stages however there is no additional consequence if we treat these within 30 or so days.

  •  Are all skin cancers melanomas? And if my skin cancer is not a dangerous one - why bother to get it removed?

No, in fact most are not. BCCs and SCCs make up the vast majority of skin cancers in Australia however some melanomas may masquerade as BCCs or SCCs so it is important to get the specimen sent to a pathologist once it has been removed. If it does turn out to be a melanoma, there is a range of different treatment steps that must be undertaken, depending on the depth and other characteristics of the melanoma.

  •  Do skin cancers run in the family or is it because of the sun?

A good question - there is a lot we are yet to find out about the genetics of cancer.

Whilst there are some familial cancers, most skin cancers are due to exposure to the sun. Of course fair skinned people are more susceptible to sun damage and certainly one does inherit their skin type from their ancestors.  If there is a family history of skin cancer it is crucial to discuss this with your doctor.  

If you have any specific questions about skin cancer or would like to find out more about MoleMap - phone us on 03 9592 0522.
Trackback Link
http://www.plasticsurgeryaustralia.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=7821&PostID=466146&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Tags


Archive



 

Latest Blog Posts

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – Monday 30 March 2020

As we continue to closely monitor and respond  ..

Read more

As we continue to closely monitor and respond to the current COVID-19 situation, we’d like to advise of the following changes to our business operations as of 30th March 2020.

We remain open, however our surgeons are currently only seeing patients for skin cancers and trauma. As a result, our practice may operate on limited hours some days.

Wherever possible we have moved to telehealth for other appointments.   We are not able to undertake any wrinkle reduction or cosmetic treatments until further notice, we are however taking bookings for when it is safe to resume.

For urgent (trauma) cases arising after hours – we’ve added after hour surgeon contact details to our main office phone. If you call and our practice is closed, you’ll receive further instruction. Please note that contacting surgeons out of hours is only for urgent cases.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate these challenging times.

Please follow us on Facebook to stay abreast of any new developments as we’ll post timely updates there, and on our website. As always if you have any questions or concerns please call the practice on 03 9592 0522.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – Tuesday 24th March 2020

The team at Brighton Plastic Surgery would lik ..

Read more

The team at Brighton Plastic Surgery would like to assure clients that we continue to closely monitor the unfolding COVID-19 situation and are implementing all necessary safety measures and closely following Health Department Guidelines.

Our practice continues to operate at this time however many changes are in place. Additional measures have been implemented to protect our patients and staff at this uncertain time. Some of these include:

  • Hand wash stations: you’ll find these at our entrance. All people entering our premises are required to thoroughly wash hands on arrival, and upon leaving.
  • Phone appointments – it is not always possible, however where we’re able we are now providing phone consultations, limiting the number of people passing through our practice whilst still providing important patient care and guidance.
  • Limited number of people in our practice at any given time– at this time only essential support people may attend a client’s appointment.  Please be mindful that as a support person you may be asked to wait in your car. If you are attending an appointment on your own, you may also be asked to wait in your car until we are ready for your appointment. The seating capacity in the reception area is deliberately very limited
  • Cashless payments – We’ve moved to cashless payments wherever possible.
If you are unwell you will not be able to attend the practice for your appointment. Please phone us and we will guide you in regard to your ongoing care.

If you have an upcoming appointment our staff will contact you to discuss how this will be managed for you.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate these challenging times.

Please follow us on Facebook to stay abreast of any new developments as we’ll post timely updates there, and on our website. As always if you have any questions or concerns please call the practice on 03 9592 0522.

Important update regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is understandably causi ..

Read more

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is understandably causing a lot of concern and social disruption in both our local community and worldwide. We are following Health Department Guidelines and have measures in place with the aim of keeping our valued patients and staff as safe as possible.

Brighton Plastic Surgery would like to reassure all our patients that we are currently open and seeing patients. There is no need to cancel your appointment unless you have travelled overseas in the last 14 days or are currently unwell with COVID-19 compatible symptoms. If this is the case, please call 03 9592 0522 and we will reschedule your appointment. 

If you have any questions or concerns about upcoming surgeries or appointments, don’t hesitate to contact us.