Covid-19 Alert level 4. We have cancelled our current bookings for examinations and surgery and we will be reviewing our cases for urgency. Our current patients will be contacted about this. If you have a lesion or mole that is of great and immediate concern, please contact us. Please include your contact details, a brief description, and a photo. We will respond as soon as possible. Dr. Peter Ryan.

About Skin Cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer.

Who is prone to BCC?

BCC typically affects adults with fair complexions who have had a lot of sun exposure, or multiple episodes of sunburn.

Types of BCC

BCCs usually grow slowly over months or years and vary in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres.

There are several types including:

  • Nodular BCC, most common type on the face, appear as a small, shiny, skin-coloured or pinkish lump that often bleeds spontaneously then seems to heal over.
  • Superficial BCC, often multiple, appear as pink or red scaly irregular plaques that bleed or ulcerate easily.
  • Pigmented BCC, appear as a brown, blue or greyish lesion.
  • Morphoeic BCC, rare, usually found in mid-facial sites, appear as skin-coloured, waxy and scar-like.

Treatment of BCC

Treatment for a BCC depends on its type, size and location. Typically, a biopsy is recommended to define the type and allow selection of the most suitable treatment.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), is a common type of skin cancer. It starts in the flat cells of the outer layer of skin. SCCs are mostly found on sun-exposed sites, particularly the face, lips, ears, hands, forearms and lower legs. SCCS are usually slow-growing over months or years. However, sometimes they develop quickly over a few weeks. SCCs can vary in size, from a few millimetres to several centimetres, and in appearance from flat, scaly areas to nodules or ulcers to sores.
Unfortunately, up to 5 percent of invasive SCC spread to other areas of the body, so identifying them early and treating thoroughly is vital.

Types of squamous cell carcinoma

  • Superficial SCC, the SCC is confined to the top layer of the skin, the epidermis.
  • Invasive SCC, this term simply describes when cancer cells have grown deeper into the dermis of the skin.

Melanoma

The best information about melanoma can be found on these excellent sites.

Cancer Society

Melanoma New Zealand

DermNet NZ