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The Cadogan Clinic is currently offering a reduced service in light of the government's January lockdown guidelines.

All of our services will be delivered in line with the UK government's social distancing measures and fully compliant with all PPE guidance from Public Health England and NHS England.

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What types of skin cancer are there?

There are two categories, non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma.

The term 'non-melanoma' refers to basal cell cancers and squamous cell cancer. In the UK alone there are more than 100,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed each year.

Basal Cell Cancer (BCC) – a BCC starts in the basal layer, the lowest layer of the epidermis and is the most common type of skin cancer, accounting for 75% of all cases

+ BCC usually appears as a small, pinkish or pearly white lump with tiny surface blood vessels
+ It also can appear as a red, dry/scaly patch of skin
+ There may be brown or black spots/pigmentation within the patch
+ The lump grows slowly, becoming bigger and may begin to crust over and bleed
+ It can also develop into a non-healing ulcer

Squamous Cell Cancer (SCC) – SCC starts in the upper layers of the epidermis and is the second most common form, accounting for 25% of all cases

+ SCC usually appears as a firm pink lump with a crusted surface
+ There may be a spiky horn protruding from the top
+ There may be surface scale and rough patches on the lump
+ It will be tender to the touch, bleeding easily
+ It may develop into an ulcer

Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, with less than 15,000 cases diagnosed each year, but it is the deadliest. It can develop anywhere on the body but most commonly on areas of the body that have been overexposed to the sun.

There are several types of melanomas, including:

+ Superficial Spreading Melanomas – these account for around 80% of all reported cases of melanoma in the UK. They are moles that spread radially and often have an irregular edge. In the radial growth phase, they usually remain confined to the skin and have not spread, but if they begin to grow deeper they can then metastasise to other parts of the body. If you have a mole with an irregular edge, get it examined by a doctor.

+ Lentigo Maligna Melanomas – these account for around 10% of all reported cases of melanoma in the UK. They often begin looking like a freckle on the face of the elderly and enlarge slowly. If they start to grow downwards and become nodular or change shape or pigmentation it is likely that melanoma has developed.

+ Acral Lentiginous Melanoma – these are a rare type of melanoma, accounting for only 5% of all reported cases. They occur on the palms of hands, the soles of feet or around a finger/toenail.

+ Amelanotic Melanoma – these are another rare type of melanoma, accounting for only 5% of all reported cases in the UK. They may have little or no colour or may be pink or greyish spots on the skin.

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