The dermatologists at Brisbane Skin are specialists in the diagnosis and management of skin cancer. They have extensive years of training in the surgical management of skin cancers, and are able to provide the expertise to give you a good clinical outcome with the best possible cosmetic result.
Skin Cancer Treatments
Find out more about skin cancer, its causes and our approach to treatment in the information below. Or get in touch and book a free nurse or therapist consultation to discuss your concerns and treatment plan specific to you.
Why you might need skin cancer surgery
There is an epidemic of skin cancer in Australia, where it occurs at two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK. According to research from the Cancer Council Australia, our national enthusiasm for spending time in the sun has had some serious consequences:
- Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers.
- 66% of Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.
- 434,000+ people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia each year.
- 2,046 people died from skin cancer in Australia in 2012, when the most recent statistics were taken
Facts about skin cancer surgery
At our dermatology clinic, we see our patients regularly for skin checks to ensure that any skin cancers and pre-cancerous changes are identified sooner rather than later. Although non-surgical treatments are available for some early skin cancers, surgery is the most appropriate option for some others such as Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma and more aggressive Basal Cell Carcinoma.
Usually surgery will be curative and no further treatment, apart from regular skin-checks, may be necessary.
Based on different factors such as type of cancer, size and location, dermatologists will often recommend one of these surgical solutions for skin cancer:
- Curettage and Cautery – A small circular blade known as a curette is used to remove the cancer lesion and the tissue around it under local anaesthetic. The area is then burnt with a hyfrecator to destroy any residual cancer cells. It is only suitable for small non-aggressive skin cancers.
- Cryosurgery – Mainly used for small, pre-cancerous sun spots (solar keratoses), liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto lesions, causing the their destruction.
- Simple Excision Skin Cancer Surgery – Performed under local anaesthetic, this is utilized for BCCs, SCCs and some benign lesions. The dermatologist removes the cancer lesion along with a small amount of surrounding skin.
- Wide Excision Skin Cancer Surgery – In this procedure, the dermatologist makes a wider and deeper excision to remove an additional portion of the normal skin that surrounds the lesion. This is most commonly utilised as the gold-standard treatment for melanoma.
- Flap or graft closure – in certain situations, such as larger lesions on the face, scalp or lower leg, the dermatologist may be required to close the post-surgical wound with either a flap or a skin graft. A flap is a technique where adjacent tissue is moved into place to cover the defect. A graft may be a partial or full-thickness section of skin harvested from another area of the body and surgical attached to the defect. Dermatologists at Brisbane Skin have undergone extensive training to apply these advanced surgical techniques to provide the most effective and cosmetically suitable results. Furthermore, following surgery, various laser devices are utilised to give the best cosmetic outcome for the patient.
Non surgical treatments
When is surgery not the appropriate approach to skin cancer? Less aggressive and early-stage lesions respond well to non-invasive treatments. These alternative treatments can be extremely effective with a high cure-rate and with less scarring and risk of complications than surgery.
Read more about how we use Photodynamic therapy to treat skin cancer without surgery and with an excellent cosmetic outcome.
Who is a good candidate for skin cancer surgery?
A variety of factors are used to determine whether or not a patient is a good candidate for skin cancer surgery. Beyond general health, our doctors consider:
- Type of tumour
- Size and location
- Grade and stage of tumour
- Patient’s medical conditions
- Patient’s age
The dermatologists at Brisbane Skin will review all these factors to ensure that you understand the facts and are comfortable with your decision.
Make An Appointment
The doctors at Brisbane Skin realise that a skin cancer diagnosis can be challenging to accept. That is why we do not want the fear that your treatment may cause scars or disfigurement to add an additional layer of anxiety.
Our dermatologists understand your concerns. Although no surgery is without scars, the doctors at Brisbane Skin will make every effort to treat your skin cancer to give the best possible cosmetic result. They also have the resources to improve scars post-operatively with lasers and injectables. As both medical and aesthetic professionals, they are uniquely qualified to guide you through treatment and help you achieve optimal results.
You can reach our clinic by phone during business hours on 07 3160 3330. If you prefer, you can use the contact form on this page to learn more about skin cancer surgery at Brisbane Skin.
Learn about our Skin Cancer treatments