Skin cancer and melanoma treatment and support

We are here to help if you or your loved one has skin cancer

Cancer Education
4 min read

You will receive care from experts in a range of fields. This includes surgical oncology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, and dermatology. Expert pathologists, imaging specialists, palliative care professionals, are also included. Various surgeons will also deliver care. This can include plastic surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, head surgeons, and neck surgeons. Specialist melanoma and skin cancer nurse will coordinate your care. You have access to a full range of allied health staff. This will include psychologists and social workers. 

A multidisciplinary team will meet to discuss your case. This will ensure you receive the best care and treatment plan. 

The Melanoma and Skin Service runs research projects and clinical trials. Our philosophy is research-led clinical care to deliver the world’s best care to our patients. Please discuss involvement in research with our staff. Visit the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Clinical Trial webpage for more information. 

Education is our primary focus as a tertiary training institution. You will meet health professionals during your time with us. Some of these will be training at various stages of education. They will always deliver your care under the supervision of senior specialist staff. 

Focusing on you 

We place you at the centre of our work. Your specialist will work with you to find out what type of skin cancer you have. 

There are three main types of skin cancers. Each is different from the other. 

Basal cell carcinoma 

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and least dangerous type of skin cancer. We usually find it on the head, neck or upper body. 

Some basal cell carcinoma signs: 

  • a small, red lump or bump 
  • can be pearly and shiny (waxy) 
  • have blood vessels on the surface. 

Squamous cell carcinoma 

Squamous cell carcinoma is less common than basal cell carcinoma. Sometimes it can be more dangerous. We usually find this cancer on the head, neck, hands, and forearms. 

Squamous cell carcinomas grow with much greater speed, usually over weeks or months. This growth can sometimes spread to nearby lymph nodes. These are small cells that group together to help filter bacteria and germs. 

Some squamous cell carcinoma signs: 

  • red and scaly (peeling/flaking) spot 
  • may bleed with ease 
  • tender to touch. 


Melanoma develops from melanocytes, and this can happen anywhere on the body. If it is not treated, melanoma may spread to other parts of the body. 

Some melanoma signs: 

  • a new spot 
  • a spot or mole that is changing or growing 
  • a spot or mole that becomes itchy 
  • a spot or mole that bleeds with ease. 

Your GP (General Practitioner) may perform a biopsy before sending you to us. In many instances, this biopsy will remove the affected skin (spot/mole) as well as a small area around it. Your GP will send this sample to a laboratory for testing and to confirm the type of skin cancer you may have. 

Enhancing your care 

We will design and work on a diagnosis and treatment plan. This will best respond to your condition and individual needs. 

Our doctors will discuss and develop the best treatment plan for you. Treatments will depend on your diagnosis. 

Skin cancer treatment will depend on: 

  • the type of disease it is 
  • whether it has spread and how far (its stage) 
  • whether you have had skin cancer before 
  • your general health and wellbeing 
  • your needs. 

In the case of melanoma, our skin cancer experts may check your lymph nodes to see if the cancer has spread. 

After effective treatment, you will continue to see your doctor as needed. This will be either your GP or a specialist cancer doctor. They use these visits to check your health and may include tests such as: 

  • imaging (scans and x-rays) 
  • further biopsies. 

Your specialist will discuss the best follow-up plan for you. 

Skin cancer and melanoma support 

We focus on all aspects of your health and wellbeing. Our skin cancer experts will help support and guide you to the best information and managed care. 

Our specialist nurses can refer you to our:

Skin cancer and melanoma patient and carer resources 

More information about skin cancers is available. This covers their treatment and support for patients and families. You can download copies of the following resources: \

Living with skin cancer and melanoma 

We know how hard cancer and treatment can be. It will disrupt your lifestyle and that of your loved ones. During this time, it is common to struggle with ongoing concerns about cancer and therapy. There are many expert groups available to support you through this time, including: 

Skin cancer and melanoma resources 


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