Skin cancer surgery

The most common form of treatment is complete excision of a cancerous skin tumour. Mohs’ micrographic surgery, a specialised form of surgery, can also be used to remove certain skin cancers.

In certain situations where complete removal of the tumour is not feasible, other forms of therapy such as radiotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT) or topical therapy (immune-regulating creams) may be used.

Monitoring after surgery

After removal of a malignant skin tumour, patients should follow up regularly with their dermatologist for a few years. This is to look out for any recurrences of the tumour. The doctor will also assess if there are new tumours in other areas. For patients where the condition has spread to involve other organs, they will need to be managed jointly with an oncologist cancer specialist.

How can I minimise my risk of skin cancer?

1. Over-exposure to sun increases cancer risk. It is important to:

  1. Avoid peak sunlight hours from 10am to 5 pm
  2. Avoid artificial tanning parlours
  3. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 regularly and liberally about 30 mins before going outdoors. Reapply every few hours when outdoors.
  4. Wear sun protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat or long-sleeved shirt and pants

Most of our lifetime sun exposure occurs in the first 20 years of our lives. It is important to develop good sun protection habits in children.

2. Avoid smoking

How can I monitor my skin?

  1. Examine your skin regularly at least once a month
  2. Learn the danger signs of skin cancer and see your dermatologist early if you detect any new or changing moles, freckles or skin growths
  3. Go for regular skin checks by your dermatologist at least once a year, or more often if you have any risks for skin cancer