Just like most of the other cancers, skin cancer can either be primary (arise from the skin) or secondary (a cancer that spreads to the skin from somewhere else). The management is different, however it is fundamentally the same, in which it needs to be first recognised, followed by diagnosis, and then treatment. For simplicity, we will be focused on primary skin cancer here.
In general there are 3 different primary skin cancers:-
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and
Lesions identified during a skin check need
to be examined under a dermatoscope by a trained and experienced doctor, and some of these lesions may need a biopsy and viewed under the microscope in the laboratory before a diagnosis can be made.
Primary skin cancer generally needs to be treated surgically (with some exceptions which allow the use of non-surgical treatment), and it usually involves 2 distinctive steps: Cancer Excision and Wound Reconstruction.
Cancer excision has strict protocols to follow, but wound reconstruction is an art which gives the wound its final aesthetic and function and is relying largely on the experience and skill of the doctor.
The combination of the 2 dictates the long term outcome and cosmetic satisfaction.