Skin Cancer

There are a number of features of a skin blemish which increase the suspicion of pre-malignant or malignant change. The more of these suspicious features a particular lesion has, the more important it is that you take medical advice. Your GP would be the usual first port of call. It is particularly important to consult early if the problem area is around the eye or on the ear, since these areas are more likely to need flaps and grafts to ensure that after an adequate clearance, the cosmetic result is good.

The following features give cause for concern:

  • Bleeding
  • Itching
  • Trauma
  • Colour change
  • Halo
  • Enlarging
  • Satellites

 

BASAL CELL CARCINOMA (BCC)

  • More common and less serious than Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Malignant Melanoma
  • Usually slower growing and don't usually spread to distant sites like the lungs or lymph nodes 
  • If large and neglected, however, can spread locally in the surrounding well beyond what is visible, and can require wide clearance

In the photos below, all these seemingly small blemish required an extensive excision and reconstruction to clear all the suspicious cells

mid April 05 005.jpg Basal Cell Cancer (BCC) of nose
5th May 05 006.jpg After surgery, skin graft in place
Nov 3 002.jpgRemoval of large BCC - 6 months post-surgery
12th May 2008 004.jpgRemoval of Basal Cell tumour - one year after

 

SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA (SCC)

  • More serious than BCC
  • Can spread, both into the surrounding skin and to local lymph nodes

In the photos below, all these seemingly small blemish required an extensive excision and reconstruction to clear all the suspicious cells

 Squamous Cell cancer (SCC) Squamous cell cancer (SCC)
Skin cancer removal near eyeAfter excision and grafting
Cancer removed and area healedCancer totally removed and area healed
17 May 2010 013.jpg Small but invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma
21 June 2010 048.jpg Removal of SCC and skin graft
3rd February 2011 036.jpgSCC removal - 6 months after surgery
16th December 2008 011.jpg Large SCC of lower eyelid
12th and 13th January 2008 062.jpg Ready for reconstruction with Z-plasty
19th January 2008 006.jpgHealing one week after surgery
25th+26th February 09 037.jpgTotal removal of SCC without eyelid distortion
Squamous Cell cancer of the ear (SCC) SCC of ear due to rubbing of hearing aid
Ear cancer removedSCC removed from upper ear
Successful ear cancer removal and reconstructionEar reconstructed after removal of large SCC

 

MALIGNANT MELANOMA (MM)

  • Most serious form of skin cancer
  • Excellent results if caught early
  • Total removal of the ear is not always necessary 

In the photos below, all these seemingly small blemish required an extensive excision and reconstruction to clear all the suspicious cells

IMG_5282.JPG Tiny mole on ear was malignant melanoma
IMG_5284.JPG Close-up view of ear rim
IMG_5381.JPGAll tissue in rectangle removed & reconstructed
IMG_7357.JPGMM ear reconstruction three months post-op
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