After a skin examination has been done, it is possible the doctor may find a mole or skin lesion that they are concerned about which may need some treatment.
Treatment for skin cancers can vary depending on the type of skin cancer, its size, its location and its depth. The doctors at Ministry of Skin are here to help and support you. They will explain all possible options and allow you to chose a solution you understand and are happy to progress with.
Ministry of Skin is a RACGP accredited clinic.
Most lesions require an initial biopsy that is sent to the pathology laboratory to make a 100% diagnosis.
Biopsies are a small procedure that requires the injection of a local anaesthetic into the skin. A small sample of the lesion is then taken and sent to the laboratory. Once the results of this are returned to the clinic, another appointment will be made to discuss the results and if any further treatment is required. The procedure involves minimal time and discomfort and results is a small wound that usually heals without a scar. Further treatment could involve any of the following:
The doctor will remove the entire lesion via a simple minor procedure. Local anaesthetic is applied to the skin and the lesion, plus a border of normal skin is removed. This can be done via a number of techniques that the doctor will discuss with you. The wound is then either left open to heal by itself or sutures (stitches) are inserted. The removed lesion is then sent to the laboratory for microscopic examination to verify that all cancerous cells have been removed. In most cases one procedure removes all the cancerous cells however it may be possible you require a second or larger procedure to do this.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a prescription cream and a special type of light. The cream is a chemical that can be activated by the light. When applied to the skin, the cream is selectively absorbed into the damaged skin cells. When the area is then exposed to the light, the cream is activated and destroys any cancer cells, bacteria or other damaged cells whilst not causing any damage to normal cells.
Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen – an extremely cold fluid – to destroy the cancerous cells. This is usually only performed on certain lesions that are not very deep.
Some skin cancers require further investigations, more delicate or larger surgical procedures, or more extensive medical management. It therefore necessary on some occasions to refer you to a specialist for further treatment.