Skin Cancer

What is skin cancer

  • Most common of all cancers
  • Divided in to melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC)
  • Basal cell carcinoma s (BCCs) – usually slow growing – most commonly on head and neck. Almost never spread. Can be cured by surgery.
  • Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) – develop on sun exposed areas; can be cured if treated early (usually surgically). May spread if high risk type.
  • Melanoma is a potentially dangerous type; often develop on areas with intermittent sun exposure that have been sunburnt (e.g. men’s backs). Can be cured if caught early. New research is offering hope to those with metastatic disease.

Risks for skin cancer

  • Chronic ultraviolet radiation exposure
  • Pale skin
  • Skin cancer in the family
  • Multiple / unusual moles
  • Severe sunburn
  • Weakened immune system


  • Change in the size or colour of mole
  • New or changing lesions
  • Change of sensation
  • Sore that does not heal

For further information please visit the website of the British Association of Dermatologists or Melanoma focus