Southport Skin Cancer Centre is led by fully-accredited Dr Neil Chorley and Dr Donna Armstrong.
Dr Chorley and Dr Armstrong have both completed extensive training and regularly attend ongoing education courses to further their skills and keep up-to-date with new developments. Our dedicated consulting and operating rooms are fully equipped with the latest technology in skin imaging using Dermoscopy and digital image storage for the detection, monitoring and treatment of skin lesions. Dr Chorley and Dr Armstrong are experienced in performing complicated skin cancer surgery using flaps and grafts and have a reputation for providing excellent cosmetic outcomes.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with reports stating that two out of three people will develop some form of skin cancer by the time they are 70.
The most common cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet radiation (sun rays). However, it is important to remember that Skin Cancer can occur anywhere there is skin, whether the sun has reached the area or not. There is no such thing as sun cancer. The intensity of this radiation varies with the time of day and time of year but once the ultraviolet level is over three it will cause mutations in the DNA of our skin cells. The normal response by the body’s immune system to these mutated, cancerous cells is a process called apoptosis. The cell’s components are broken down, the DNA is destroyed, and white blood cells then clean away the shrunken cells.
It is when the balance is disturbed, and the cancer cells are formed quicker than the white blood cells can clean them away, that cancer forms. In the skin, the three most common skin cancers we see are Basel Cell Carcinoma (the most common cancer in humans), Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma.
Rarer types of skin cancers include Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Sebaceous Carcinoma, Atypical Fibroxanthoma, Microcystic Adenocarcinoma and Angiosarcoma. Skin Cancers are named after the skin cell that mutates and becomes cancerous. Dermoscopy (magnified imaging of the skin) is extremely important in diagnosing all skin cancers and it is essential that any skin doctor be extremely proficient in this skill.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
Basal Cell Carcinoma is a skin cancer of the basal skin cell mostly caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (sun or welding) but can sometimes be caused by genetics or ingestion of arsenic. This type of skin cancer rarely spreads until very late stages but can spread readily if it grows into the nerves. It is locally destructive and causes cosmetic concerns, especially if on the face. There are sub-types of this cancer that are more aggressive, meaning they grow more rapidly and have large root systems.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a skin cancer of the squamous cell of the skin. This type of skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as lymph nodes. The potential to spread is determined by the thickness of the skin cancer, its location and the grade (differentiation). Areas such as the lips and ears carry a high chance of early spread. It is important that this skin cancer is excised as soon as possible. Sometimes if a SCC is advanced and shows signs of invasion, particularly in small nerves, radiotherapy will be needed to reduce the risk of spread. Lymph nodes spread is very relevant with SCC’s.
Melanoma is a skin cancer of the melanocyte and is a particularly aggressive form of skin cancer. It is totally curable with early diagnosis and excision. Dermoscopy is extremely important in the early diagnosis of melanoma. This skin cancer spreads by all means – in the skin, through the blood vessels, lymphatics and nerves. The thicker the melanoma, the worse the prognosis. A thin melanoma is less than 1mm in depth. This generally carries an extremely good prognosis of cure after appropriate margin excision. A thick melanoma is anything over 1mm in depth. The greater the depth, the more serious the prognosis. There are different types of melanomas based on origin and behaviour. Superficial spreading is the most common type and begins in the superficial layers (epidermis) of the skin before it grows deeper, as opposed to nodular melanoma which arises in the dermis and can progress to a more advanced stage before it is obvious on the skin.
At Southport Skin Cancer Centre, we strongly recommend for all patients to undergo regular skin checks. Having a specially-trained, experienced doctor examine your skin and monitor existing skin lesions at least every twelve months, and more frequently if a high-risk patient, can drastically improve your chances of diagnosing skin cancer early and successfully treating it.
Skin Cancer Southport
Early detection saves lives so don’t delay getting your skin checked any longer. If you have any skin concerns or would simply would like to have your skin checked we would love to see you. Book an appointment with Dr Donna Armstrong or Dr Neil Chorley here.
We have recently changed our location, our Gold Coast Skin Cancer Centre is now located at Level 3, 62 Davenport Street, Southport QLD 4215.