It is frightening to be diagnosed with a skin cancer – most people automatically think the worse. It helps to keep calm and find out more about your skin cancer before jumping to any conclusions.

To gain a better understanding of the seriousness of your diagnosis and what can be done, find out two basic facts about your cancer:

1. What type of skin cancer do you have?

The three main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and the dreaded Melanoma. These vary greatly in aggressiveness and treatment options.

2. How deep is the cancer?

Is your cancer superficial (only involving the very top layer of skin) or deeper?

Most superficial cancers can be cured and some may even be suitable for non-surgical treatment.

It is important to tailor your treatment to the exact skin cancer type and the location. For example, we can use topical medication cream to treat a superficial BCC on the forehead but it will be an incorrect treatment once it is in the hairline.

Deeper cancers of the carcinoma type are further divided into subtypes, and the best treatment may vary from non-surgical treatments, to superficial surgery, to multi-stage surgery

However, if you are suspecting or been diagnosed with a fast growing melanoma, the priority is to have this removed – FAST. This is a time that you will need to act quickly. You should not be waiting for an appointment.