What is skin cancer

Leading skin cancer experts providing safe and effective treatments and prognosis

  • Book a private consultation with an experienced specialist direct or get referred by your GP
  • Avoid waiting lists and worry with quick and accurate diagnoses and effective treatments
  • Skin cancer experts – our dermatologists are highly qualified in diagnosing and treating skin cancer

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer occurs when abnormal skin cells begin to grow without stopping. Even though it is a serious condition, skin cancer is not usually life-threatening if detected early enough. It can appear anywhere on the skin, but it usually caused by high levels of exposure to UV light from the sun, and therefore usually appears on the face, hands, neck and arms.

Listen to Dr Jane McGregor talk about protection from the sun

One of the most common forms of cancer in the UK, there are two main types of skin cancer. Malignant melanoma usually manifests as an abnormal mole before spreading across the body. Non-melanoma skin cancer, which usually appears as a new lump, a scab that doesn’t heal, or a crusty raised area of the skin, is the most common type of skin cancer.

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Diagnosing Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer Treatments

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Skin Cancer

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Treating skin cancer

We are a team of highly qualified, experienced Consultant Dermatologists with access to the latest diagnostic technology. If you are worried about skin cancer or a mole that has recently appeared or changed shape or colour, you can book a consultation directly with one of our skin experts and receive a quick, accurate diagnosis.

What to expect at your Skin Cancer consultation

  • After an initial discussion and examination of the affected area, your specialist will typically recommend that the area be removed surgically so that it can be investigated for cancerous cells.
  • If the biopsy shows that skin cancer is present, your specialist will advise you on the most appropriate options for your diagnosis. Options are available that are proven to be effective at treating the condition.
  • Surgery is usually the primary treatment for skin cancer. If the condition is identified early enough then surgery will remove the cancer cells from the skin quickly and safely. In some cases, diagnosis and treatment occur simultaneously, with all the cancer cells removed as part of the diagnosis process.

Recommended skin cancer treatments

The treatment you receive will depend on the nature of your condition, and our team of skin cancer experts will advise you on the most appropriate treatment options for your individual diagnosis. However, skin surgery is likely to be the initial recommendation.

The skin surgery process

The extent of skin surgery and the time that it takes depends on the area of skin being treated and the technique used. Removal of a cancerous mole using traditional skin surgery can take less than 30 minutes, but Mohs microsurgery can take much longer.

Simple, straightforward skin surgery can usually be done as a day case at The Devonshire Clinic, with a local anaesthetic and a mild sedative if necessary. Larger procedures will require admission to hospital and an inpatient stay.

Which skin surgery is right for me?

The choice of surgical technique will depend on several factors relating to your condition:

  • The size and location of the lesion
  • Whether the lesion is superficial or infiltrating
  • Whether the lesion is benign or malignant
  • Whether the surgery is part of your diagnosis or your treatment
  • The risk of scarring

Your dermatologist will explain the type of skin surgery that you need and exactly what is involved. We will give you our expert advice and recommendations, but the final choice is always up to you. It is particularly important for skin surgery that you have thought through the potential risks before you decide to go ahead.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery involves the removal of cancerous tissue from the tumour, then the immediate examination of the tissue during the procedure. This is repeated until the surgeon is confident that there are no cancer cells remaining.

Photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the application of photosensitive cream to the affected area, then stimulating it with light to create a chemical reaction. This can kill both cancerous and non-cancerous cells.

Chemotherapy creams / gels

These topical creams or gels are applied directly to the affected skin and are used to treat precancerous lesions; for example, actinic keratosis or Bowen’s disease.

Non melanoma skin cancer

Skin Cancer Treatments

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery involves the removal of cancerous tissue from the tumour, then the immediate examination [...]

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Topical Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an advanced technique for treating some types of skin cancer and skin conditions that[...]

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Mole Removal

If you have a mole that has grown, changed colour or started to bleed or weep, your dermatologist may advise that i[...]

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Skin Cancer Surgery

Surgery is usually the primary treatment for skin cancer. Skin surgery is used to take samples for biopsy and it ca[...]

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Why use the Devonshire Clinic?

If you are concerned about skin cancer, it is important that you book an appointment with a qualified Consultant Dermatologist at your earliest convenience. Skin cancer is not life threatening if diagnosed and treated quickly and is generally much easier to manage early compared to other types of cancer.

We are one of London’s leading private skin clinics, employing only Consultant Dermatologists to diagnose and treat a wide range of skin conditions and diseases. Our specialists have extensive experience diagnosing and treating all types of skin cancer and, as a private provider, we can provide fast diagnosis and treatment, avoiding the need to be on an NHS waiting list. We can give you the best possible chance of a quick diagnosis and removal of skin cancer. Do not wait – book a consultation with one of our skin specialists now.

Second Opinions

When you are faced with difficult medical choices or uncertainty and you want clarity about your diagnosis and the treatment that you will receive, then getting a second opinion from a private doctor can help put your mind at rest.

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Patient Stories

I can’t recommend this clinic highly enough. The treatment I received for my skin cancer was first class

AL, London

The team at the Devonshire Clinic were excellent. From booking my appointments to every part of my treatment, I felt that I was in the very best hands.

CH, London

Before visiting the clinic I had quite high expectations, but I was blown away by just how brilliant the experience was. I felt like I was the only patient in the clinic. Simply the best medical treatment.

SF, London

Latest News

15 Sep 2020

Dr Ian Logan and Dr Conal Perrett authored an article on the ‘Management of Advanced Skin Cancer’.

Dr Ian Logan and Dr Conal Perrett, both Consultant Dermatologists at The Devonshire Clinic[...]

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10 Mar 2020

Consultant Dermatologists at The Devonshire Clinic contribute to research into the use of Nicotinamide in chemoprevention of skin cancer

Keratinocyte cancers are the most common type of skin cancer amongst the light skin popula[...]

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