Skin cancer is an increasingly common problem in the UK and it is the commonest of
all cancer types.
Probably the best known form of skin cancer is Malignant Melanoma because it receives
a lot of media attention and in some patients can be life threatening. It is a cancer
of pigmented skin cells called melanocytes and will can arise in previously normal
skin or as a change in pigmented moles.
Other forms of skin cancer which are collectively
known as Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) are in fact much commoner than Malignant
Melanoma. The commonest form of NMSC is called Basal Cell Carcinoma.
Carcinoma is another from of NMSC which forms part of a spectrum of cancerous change
of normal skin cells called keratinocytes. This spectrum runs from Actinic Keratosis
(a superficial pre-malignant skin change) through Bowen's Disease (a superficial
non-invasive skin cancer) to Squamous Cell Carcinoma (an invasive skin cancer).
Shropshire Skin Clinic Dr Murdoch commonly deals with all forms of skin cancer. Treatments
are based upon current best practice and National Guidelines. Within NHS services,
patients with more serious or complicated types of skin cancer are discussed at the
local skin cancer multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting. This meeting is attended
by local dermatologists, surgeons, pathologists and oncologists. In order that Dr
Murdoch's private patient's are offered this same opportunity, he is a member of
the local skin cancer multidisciplinary team and attends these meetings regularly.
Before resigning from regular NHS practice in 2005 he was the Lead Clinician for
skin cancer in Shropshire.
This photograph shows the leg of an elderly lady who came with an enlarging pigmented
lesion on her leg. The pigmented lesion was a malignant melanoma, the red lesion
above was a different type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Both tumours
were surgically excised.