skin cancer

Home » skin cancer

Aldara (Imiquimod)

Aldara (Imiquimod) topical cream for skin cancer

Aldara (Imiquimod) Aldara is a commonly used topical cream for the treatment of early skin cancers. In general, we only use it on the thinnest of skin cancers – Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma (sBCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma in situ (SCCis) also known as Bowen’s disease. We also can use it to treat pre cancer … Read more

How to reduce your risk of getting skin cancer again

Dermatologist doctor inspecting woman skin for moles and melanoma

Secondary prevention of skin cancer Many of my patients have multiple skin cancers. The most important things to do are still sun avoidance and regular use of sunscreen whenever outside. There is some evidence for other treatments which may reduce your risk of developing further skin cancers. Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Nicotinamide) The main evidence is … Read more


Efudix - a medical ointment to treat solar keratosis

Efudix Cream (Efudex – the American spelling, 5-Flurouracil) Efudix is a cream used commonly to treat Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis, precancer) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma in situ (SCC in Situ, Bowen’s disease) in Australia. It stops an enzyme called thymidylate synthetase from working. This basically stops DNA from being made. This kills cells which are … Read more

Everything you need to know about Sunscreen

A woman applying sunscreen to protect herself from harmful UV radiations to prevent the risk of skin cancer

Why use sunscreen? ​The radiation (“light”) from the sun contains many different parts. Some of this light is visible. These are the colours we see. Much of the light from the sun our eyes cannot see. Some of this light is called “ultraviolet radiation”. Ultraviolet radiation causes harm to us in a couple of ways: … Read more

Skin Cancer Treatment

A skin specialist looking for spots of skin cancer in a skin cancer clinic in Melbourne

Treatment at the Skin Doctor You will be asked about your personal history and family history with skin cancers, your occupational history, any previous excisions, history of sun exposure and frequency of sun protection. In order to examine you carefully, we will need to expose as much skin as possible. The rooms are set to … Read more


A spot showing melanoma skin cancer in skin

In 2016 it is estimated that 13,283 were diagnosed with melanoma, in addition to the nearly 50,000 people who currently live with melanoma in Australia.  Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, a probable “perfect storm” of a sunburnt country, a population mostly descended from northern Europe, and previous degradation of … Read more

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

A spot showing Squamous Cell Carcinoma in skin

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer. In general is rare for SCC to spread to other parts of the body (metastasize). It is mostly found on areas of the skin with most sun exposure (head, neck, hands, forearms, and lower legs) It generally grows faster than BCC (Basal Cell … Read more

Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

A spot of Solar Keratosis on skin

Actinic Keratosis is a precancerous skin condition, mainly towards a type of cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). It is of course also a marker of heavy sun damage – and heavy sun exposure and damage increase our risk of all skin cancers including melanoma. The risk of individual AK lesions becoming an SCC is … Read more

Basal Cell Carcinoma

A spot of Basal Cell Carcinoma in skin

Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer (70% of all skin cancer) and the most common cancer in humans. Luckily it is also the gentlest, and in most cases, simple surgical removal with an appropriate margin of normal skin will result in a complete cure. It is extremely rare for BCC … Read more

What are the risk factors for skin cancer?

A smiling woman in a beach with many face freckles is in a high risk for melanoma, a type of skin cancer

High Risk (3 monthly self-examination and 12 monthly skin check with doctor) Red hair Type 1 skin and age greater than 45 years Type 2 skin and age greater than 65 years Family history of melanoma in a first degree relative in patients aged over 15 years More than 100 naevi (birthmarks, beauty marks) or … Read more