Skin Cancer

We live in a sunburnt country and skin cancer is incredibly common in our fair-skinned population who have enjoyed life outdoors.

Skin cancer is commonly diagnosed by your family doctor, through skin clinics or your dermatologist. Often the skin cancer may be obvious, though sometimes a biopsy sample of the lesion is taken to check.

Our plastic surgery team is highly trained to undertake skin cancer surgery for clearance of your skin cancer with the necessary margin for cure, and optimal reconstruction to minimise scarring and maintain normal skin contours -these procedures are almost always done at the same time. At your consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your specific skin cancer and engage in the decision-making about surgery.

Skin cancer surgery is often performed under local anaesthetic alone, enabling you to return to your normal activities sooner. Our on-site accredited day surgery with easy access (Central Day Surgery) is designed to care for you when surgery under local anaesthetic is preferred. Surgery on more sensitive areas (eg nose, lips), more complex procedures, or if you have a strong dislike of needle injections, may warrant sedation or general anaesthetic. You can be reassured that we have the expertise and team to support you or your loved one through this life challenge.

  1. Skin cancer is more common with total sun exposure and also your number of severe sun burn events. To avoid these, for you and your children:
    • avoid intense sunlight in the middle of the day (10:00 – 16:00 in summer)
    • cover up with a broad-brimmed hat, long sleeves and long trousers or skirts
    • find shade
    • apply at least SPF-30 sunscreen on exposed area if you are in the sun for more than 15 minutes, and reapply every 3-4 hours (more often if swimming/ water activities)
  2. Regular skin checks for all adults: at least every 2 years for everyone, and at least yearly if you have had a previous skin cancer. Discuss this with your family doctor, skin clinic or dermatologist.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer and least dangerous. This cancer grows slowly and steadily in the area it starts, and almost never spreads elsewhere. If left, they can make non-healing sores that bleed easily and can invade important structures. Surgery for Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a very common procedure – removal with a comfortable margin of normal skin is usually curative. Your plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery Central has the skill and care required to surgically treat BCCs.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is another common form of skin cancer, which can vary from early thin lesions with slow growth in the same area to more rapidly growing and dangerous lesions. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) that behaves aggressively is less common, but can spread to distant sites (like lymph glands, or through the bloodstream to the lungs). These tumours are best managed with surgery to ensure removal with an adequate clearance margin.

Please read here about melanoma

Our Skin Cancer Surgeons

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Please be aware that all surgical procedures require a consultation with our plastic surgeons to allow a thorough assessment and discussion of your specific needs.