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Diagnosis

Non-melanoma skin cancer is a group of common skin cancers that are usually easy to treat.

Symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer include a red lump or a flat, scaly patch on an area of skin often exposed to the sun.

Non-melanoma skin cancer can usually be treated with surgery to remove the affected area of skin.

The main cause of non-melanoma skin cancer is too much exposure to the sun.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer include a red lump or a flat, scaly patch on an area of skin often exposed to the sun.

Symptoms of non-melanoma cancer

The first sign of non-melanoma skin cancer is usually the appearance of a lump or discoloured patch on the skin that continues to persist after a few weeks, and slowly progresses over months or sometimes years. This is the cancer, or tumour.

Picture of non-melanoma skin cancer

In most cases, cancerous lumps are red and firm and sometimes turn into ulcers, while cancerous patches are usually flat and scaly.

Non-melanoma skin cancer most often develops on areas of skin regularly exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, hands, shoulders, upper chest and back.

Read more on the NHS website.

Non-melanoma skin cancer can usually be treated with surgery to remove the affected area of skin.

Medical treatments

Surgery is the main treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer. It involves removing the cancerous tumour and some of the surrounding skin.

Other treatments for non-melanoma skin cancer include freezing (cryotherapy), anti-cancer creams, radiotherapy and a form of light treatment called photodynamic therapy (PDT).

The treatment used will depend on the type, size and location of the non-melanoma skin cancer you have.

Treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer is usually successful as, unlike most other types of cancer, there's a considerably lower risk that the cancer will spread to other parts of the body.

Basal cell carcinoma does not usually spread to other parts of the body. There's a small risk (up to 5%) of squamous cell carcinoma spreading to other parts of the body, usually the lymph nodes (small glands found throughout your body).

However, for both BCC and SCC there can sometimes be considerable skin damage if the tumour is not treated.

At least 9 out of 10 (90%) non-melanoma skin cancer cases are successfully cured.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main cause of non-melanoma skin cancer is too much exposure to the sun.

Read more on the NHS website.