Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. In Guernsey, non-melanoma skin cancers account for approximately 45% of all diagnosed cancers and the incidence of skin cancer in younger people is increasing on an annual basis.
Prevention is better than cure, and when detected early, treatment is usually simple.
The Mole and Skin Lesion Clinic can undertake:
- A whole-body skin-check.
- The assessment of moles or any other skin lesions of concern.
- The assessment and treatment of sun-damaged skin.
- Advice on how to protect your skin and monitor yourself for signs of concern.
Important information for patients attending the mole and skin lesion clinic
- Please do not wear any makeup as this makes the assessment of facial skin very difficult.
- Undertaking a full skin check will require undressing to the undergarments. Please wear something you would feel comfortable in, such as a pair of shorts and a sports bra. If you would like a chaperone to be present, please can you inform us before the appointment.
Dr Ed Partridge runs the clinic at the Rohais Surgery on Wednesday mornings. He is accredited by the RCGP and the British Association of Dermatologists in skin lesion management and skin surgery. He is also a member of the Guernsey Multidisciplinary Skin Cancer Team.
Ed holds a masters-degree in Practical Dermatology with distinction. His dissertation focused on the diagnosis and treatment of sun-damaged skin and skin cancers. In addition, he has been awarded the Expert Certificate of Skin Cancer Medicine by the Bond University, Australia.
Ed uses a specialist skin microscope, called a dermatoscope, to undertake a very detailed skin assessment.
What is dermoscopy?
Dermoscopy is the assessment of skin lesions using a dermatoscope. The dermatoscope is a specialist skin microscope which enables visualisation of both the surface and deep structures of moles. It significantly increases the ability to determine whether any features are suspicious of cancer so that these lesions can be treated at an early stage. It also helps to avoid the unnecessary removal of benign and harmless moles.
After the assessment a comprehensive treatment plan will be discussed:
- Areas of sun-damaged skin can be managed at the clinic. This can involve either freezing the lesion (cryotherapy) or specialist creams which are available on prescription.
- Patients with low-risk skin cancers or benign lesions that are problematic will be advised about having these removed. Where appropriate an appointment will then be made for this to take place.
- High-risk skin cancers or lesion that are surgically complex will usually require referral for further treatment at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital or the Medical Specialist Group.
What is cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is a procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze skin lesions. This includes benign conditions such as warts and skin tags. It is also used for areas of sun damage, known as actinic keratosis.
The liquid nitrogen is sprayed on to the lesion using a specialist device, and this can usually be undertaken during the clinic appointment.