Australia is the sunny lucky land and we all enjoy and love living under it. Unfortunately, one of the unwanted byproducts of this bounty is that we have some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Although many of these cancer rates have improved or at least plateaued in recent years, given concerted campaigns of education and sun protection, it remains a major concern in our society.
In broad terms, skin cancers can be divided into non-melanomatous skin malignancies and melanomas. The first group include basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and their precursor entities. These are related to cumulative sun exposure and result in malignant changes in the areas most commonly exposed to the sun – the face, hands and legs. They are by no means limited, however, to these sites.
BCCs generally grow and spread slowly. Early-stage superficial BCCs can now be treated successfully with creams. Most other subtypes are easily treated with simple resection. There are, however, subtypes that are prone to widespread infiltration and higher risk of recurrent growth. Most importantly, as with all skin surgery, aesthetically sensitive areas require special attention to reduce the chances of unattractive scarring and to achieve best camouflage of the incisions.
SCCs are generally faster growing than BCCs and may spread to regional nodes or through the bloodstream to more distant sites, causing serious complications. The size, thickness and intrinsic nature of the tumour will determine its capacity for spread and threat. They require closer surgical scrutiny to ensure not only that the tumour is removed but also that there is no evidence of regional or distant disease.
Melanomas and Merkel cell tumours are among the most dreaded skin malignancies. These can be life threatening and often seem to strike without warning. Their pathogenic relationship to sun exposure as a risk factor has become clearer in recent years. Treatment of these diseases requires a multidisciplinary team including oncologists, radiation oncologists as well as surgeons.
Dr Farhadieh has a special interest in facial skin cancer surgery and works closely with oncology and radiation oncology colleagues. He will ensure that the best surgical and aesthetic outcomes are obtained in your treatment.
‘Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.’
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I need general anaesthesia and overnight admission?
Will the scars be visible?
How long will the recovery take?
What will my follow up include?
Dr Farhadieh believes that the doctor-patient rapport is amongst the most sacred and privileged relationships. Our practice is based on compassion, honesty, transparency and above all, patient welfare.
We pride ourselves on making sure that you feel supported through each stage of the journey. We will be available during all stages of your journey and will schedule short, medium and long term follow ups as part of our overall practice.