This may be a small patch of darkened tissue that is irregular in shape, and may or may not be raised from the surface of the skin.
Skin irregularities can appear for any number of reasons, including: genetics, side effects of medication, sun exposure, infection, viruses or systemic diseases. Many skin lesions are present at birth (such as birth marks), whereas others may develop over time, with some progressing from a primary lesion to a secondary lesion through aggravation.
For many people their first thought may be that it’s skin cancer, which may or may not be the case. The truth is that until an usual or new skin lesion is investigated, we can not be sure.
How will I know if I have skin cancer?
In many cases a lump, bump or lesion is harmless, in others, it can be an indication of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and can develop on any part of the face or body. However, as sun exposure is one of the main causes, it is most likely to appear in places that are largely left uncovered.
Skin cancer develops when the DNA in skin cells starts to mutate, or become abnormal. These mutations can get out of control and accumulate to form a mass on cancerous cells. This mass will usually affect the top layers of the skin (the epidermis) which contain 3 types of cells: melanocytes (which produce melanin to give the skin its colour), squamous cells (acting as the skin’s lining) and basal cells (which produce new skin cells). These are the most common places for cancerous cells to develop, and are the 3 most common forms of skin cancer – squamous cell skin cancer, basal cell skin cancer and malignant melanoma. With these types of cancer a noticeable bump or lesion can form. This may be a different tone and texture to the surrounding skin, and may get larger or more irregular in shape.
The best way to know if a lesion is cancerous will be to visit a doctor and have it examined using specialist equipment, as well as taking photos. The doctor will be able to make a diagnosis and suggest the best form of treatment. Gels and creams can be used in some cases, however, a biopsy is often recommended.
Are moles skin cancer?
There are a vast amount of people who have moles or freckles on their body. Some people have very few, whereas others can have many. They can range in size and shape and may rise from the skin’s surface. Moles are also known as nevi and are a type of skin growth that develop from an accumulation of pigment-forming cells – melanocytes. They can change in size and tone over time, but if a person notices they have developed an irregular border or appear in a range of shades they will need to get it checked. At this stage doctors can not guarantee the mole is cancerous but an examination will determine the degree of abnormality, and a biopsy will be arranged.
What is skin cancer or mole surgery?
When removing an abnormal mole, an excision procedure will cut around the lesion in an ellipse shape. This enables a certain amount of skin and tissue to be removed from around the mole (internally and externally) in case the cancerous cells have started to spread. The mole will then need to be sent away for testing to see if it actually is cancerous, and if further treatment is needed. Whether the mole is or isn’t cancerous the doctor will want to see the patient at a follow-up appointment which may involve checking any other moles on the body in case they too, are appearing to be abnormal.
Where can I have skin cancer or mole surgery?
Chester Cosmetic Surgery in Chester provides surgical excision procedures to help remove cancerous cells / abnormal moles. Miss Breahna will require patients to make an appointment for consultation to examine any concerning lesions before a suitable plan of action is recommended.Back to blog