A skin cancer diagnosis can be frightening, and it’s a diagnosis that is increasingly common in Australia. In fact, two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. According to Cancer Council Australia:
- Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
- 750,000 Australians are treated for skin cancer each year
- Around 2,000 Australians die every year from skin cancer
- 95 to 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
- GPs have over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
- The incidence of skin cancer in Australia is one of the highest in the world
Common skin cancers can be treated with ointments or radiation therapy. Withmore advanced skin cancers, some of the surrounding tissue may need to be removed to make sure all the cancerous cells have been taken out.
How Facial Plastic Surgeons Treat Skin Cancer
A facial plastic surgeon selects a skin cancer treatment based on a number of factors, including the type of skin cancer itself.There are three types of skin cancer:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The majority of skin cancers are cell carcinomas. They are malignant, but unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. They can, however, be disfiguring if not treated early. Melanoma, on the other hand, are highly aggressive malignant cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.
Facial Plastic Surgeons Are Medical & Aesthetic Professionals
Facial plastic surgeons are first and foremost medical practitioners. They have the necessary skill and training to remove skin cancers using one of several methods:
- Surgery (usually under a local anaesthetic)
- Cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze the cancer off),
- Curettage (scraping)
- Cautery (burning)
Beyond fear of the disease itself, patients are often worried that treatment may result in scars or disfigurement. For this reason, many people, including Hollywood celebrities like Hugh Jackman, seek treatment from an experienced facial plastic surgeon. These highly trained medical professionals have the surgical skill to excise the disease, as well as the aesthetic skill and specialised techniques to preserve skin health and appearance.