Skin Cancer

Only You Can Prevent a Skin Cancer!

Protect your skin with a hat, appropriate clothing and 30+ UVA/UVB SPF sunscreen. You'll need 30ml (a handful) of sunscreen to cover the whole body. Apply 20mins before exposure. Wear a "rashie" if you're swimming outside. Protect your skin even if the sky is overcast.

Try to modify your activities so that you're not outdoors during the middle of the day when the UV is highest.

Check your own skin (including the groin, armpits, feet) every 6 months and ask someone else to check your back and scalp. Ask your GP or dermatologist to look at any lesion that is new or has been changing.

See your USUAL GP once a year for a skin check. If there are any concerns, they will refer you to a dermatologist (skin specialist). There is no need to be seen at one of the many "Skin Cancer Clinics". These are run by GP's- not dermatologists.


These are usually irregularly shaped and multicoloured: i.e. brown/black/blue/red. They can arise from normal skin or from a pre-existing mole that changes. Ordinary moles do not usually change over a few months.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

These are the most common type of skin cancer. They are often slow growing. They usually form a smooth pearly/skin coloured bump in the skin which tends to bleed or 'scab' easily- e.g. after drying with a towel. They often ulcerate.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

These are usually painful, rough lumps. They tend to grow quickly over a few weeks. They usually arise from pre-existing Solar Keratosis (small, white, rough sun-damaged areas of skin).