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Skin Cancer Services

  • The Clinical Team is highly trained in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer
  • We provide treatment for this type of low-risk skin cancer
  • Squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melnoma are other types of cancer
  • These types of cancer will require referral to cancer services at a local hospital
  • Click on the links below for further information about skin lesions

Pre-Cancerous Skin Lesions

  • These type of skin lesions can develop into skin cancer if left untreated
  • Many different treatment options are possible


Solar Keratosis

Bowen's Disease

Lentigo Maligna

Skin Cancer Lesions

  • There are three main types of skin cancer
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma accounts for 80% skin cancer
  • 5% people aged over 60 will develop a skin cancer


Basal Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Malignant Melanoma

Skin Cancer Pathways of Care for Sussex Community Dermatology Service

We are able to provide treatments for most patients diagnosed with a Basal Cell Carcinoma.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma or Malignant Melanoma will be referred to secondary care.

We fast-track all of our patients into hospital cancer services if required.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Clinical Pathway









What causes skin cancer?
Skin cancer is due to a number of factors and the risk increases significantly in people with a fair skin, red hair, and history of sun-exposure. Burning in childhood and early adolescence may be a significant risk factor and we also see skin cancer develop in some families. The age of onset is typically after the age of 50-years. However, we increasingly see skin cancer in younger patients and in patients with signs of sun-damage and actinic keratosis.












What types of skin cancer are there?
There are three main types: Basal Cell Carcinoma (80%), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (15%) and Malignant Melanoma (5%)

Basal Cell Carcinoma - 80% of Skin Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequent type of skin cancer and frequently develops on the central face, chest/back and lower leg. It is a slow-growing type of skin cancer and does not nromally spread to other body tissues or lymph glands. It usually presents as a small raised pearly nodule or a red palque on the skin that may bleed or ulcerate. Whilst slow-growing, it can cause significant tissue destruction if left untreated. We always recommend treatment except in very elderly patients with small superfiical tumours. Treatment depends on the site of the skin cancer and how deep it is in the skin. Superficial BCC's may be treated by topical creams, scraping (curettage), photodynamic therapy (PDT), or skin surgery. Deeper invasive BCC requires skin surgery or radiotherapy X-Ray treatment.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma - 15% of Skin Cancer
This is more frequently seen in sites of high intensity sun exposure including the scalp, face, ears and back of the hands. It usually presents as a radily growing skin nodule that may bleed and ulcerate. Treatment is essential as the skin cancer can spread to lymph glands. Skin surgery or radiotherapy are normally recommended to remove the abnormal skin.

Malignant Melanoma- 5% of Skin Cancer
This is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is due to the abnormal growth of cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes produce brown pigment in the skin and are responsible for moles. When these cells grow abnormally they produce change in a pre-existing mole or development of a new mole that has irregular features. It is important to have any moles checked if they increase in size (more than 6mm in diameter), lose symmetry, change in colour (develop dark black pigment), or produce symptoms (redness, bleeding or itching). We have a mole scanner at the clinic and all of our consultant team are experts in diagnosing skin cancer.











What treatments do we provide at the clinic?
We provide a comprehensive range of skin cancer treatments at Hove Skin Clinic. A member of the consultant team would normally see you to confirm the diagnosis (a skin biopsy may be required) and then plan your treatment.

Skin Cancer Surgery
All of our consultants are trained in skin cancer surgery. We have two dermatological surgeons at the clinic (Dr Emerson and Dr Shergill) and a plastic surgeon (Mr Nduka). We can provide all forms of skin surgery after injection of a local anaesthetic into the skin. The range of surgical treatments includes skin flaps, skin grafts and Moh's Micrographic Surgery.

Topical Imiquinod Immunotherapy
Imiquinod can be used to treat superficial BCC's and works by stimulating the immune system to react and destroy abnormal pre-cancerous and cancerous skin cells. It is applied once daily for 5-days per week for a total of 6-weeks. Activation of the immune system produces a strong reaction in the skin causing redness, weeping and mild irritation.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Superficial BCC can be treated by a new technique called PDT. A special cream is applied to the skin cancer and left in contact for 3-hours under an occlusive palstic dressing. A special lamp with an intense red light is then applied to the area and the skin cancer cells are selectively destroyed. This is because the abnormal cells absorb the cream and convert it into a photoactive substance.

Radiotherapy X-Ray Therapy
We link into NHS skin cancer networks and can always arrange radiotherapy if this is considered the most suitable option for treatment. It is generally used in elderly patients or in extensive tumours that are not readily treated by other modlaities