BAPRAS has produced a new printed patient information guide for people that have been diagnosed with skin cancer.
To request a printed copy of the guide, please email the Secretariat or download a PDF of the guide here
This booklet is designed for patients and their families interested in understanding skin cancer treatment.
What is skin cancer?
All cells in the body, including skin cells, repair and are replaced all the time to ensure the health of the tissue they form. When these processes go wrong in skin cells, their growth can become uncontrolled and a collection of abnormal cells (tumour) can develop in a part of the skin. This can range from an abnormal, but non-cancerous (benign) tumour through pre-cancerous sun damage, to skin cancer (malignant).
What causes skin cancer?
The commonest cause of skin cancer is sun and sunbed damage to skin cells. Some skin types, which may run in families, can be more prone to skin cancer. Some chemicals and irritants are also linked with
What is the treatment for skin cancer?
Skin cancer needs to be treated, as it does not ‘heal’ by itself. Frequently this involves confirming that the suspicious area is a skin cancer, often by taking a small (biopsy) sample to test, and subsequently taking it away surgically or treating by other means such as creams, lasers or radiotherapy where suitable.
How will this guide help me?
With more and more sources of information available through the internet and other media, knowing where to find straightforward, up to date information becomes increasingly difficult. We hope this guide solves that problem, helping you understand the different skin cancer types, what treatments are available, why some might be selected over others and what to expect from each. A list of links and contacts you might also find interesting is included at the end of this guide.
Skin anatomy and types of skin cancer
Basal cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
Surgery and reconstruction
Lymph node surgery
Lead author and editor: Rowan Prichard Jones
Author and editor: Philip Brackley, Victoria Giblin
Contributors: Howard Peach, Helen Seddon, Jayne Belton and Family, Jonathan Morton