Skin cancers can be broken up into 2 major groups. These are melanomas and non-melanoma skin cancer. The sun plays a large part in causing these cancers and it is important to avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun. I will be able to tell you about other causes of these cancers and possibly advise you on how to avoid them.

The more common non-melanoma skin cancers include “squamous cell carcinoma” and “basal cell carcinoma” although there are many other types. These cancers require adequate and complete treatment for cure. In addition to this, you will need to be monitored for a long period of time after the procedure and the treatment to ensure that the cancer does not recur.

Similarly, melanoma needs to be treated adequately to prevent spread to the rest of the body or recurrence of the cancer. In some situations, a multidisciplinary approach is required which may include an oncologist for chemotherapy.

In general, these cancers require excision and reconstruction of the area. If the cancer is small enough, the procedure can be performed in my procedure room and will not require hospital admission. In the case of large cancers, you will need more extensive surgery and reconstruction and this is best done in the operating room. The reconstruction technique that is required is dependent on the location and the size of the tumour and this will be discussed together with you.

Although these skin cancers are very dangerous and even life threatening, they are curable if they are treated early. For this reason, it is important to monitor your skin yourself as well as by a dermatologist to ensure that you see a plastic surgeon early in the course of the disease.