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      What Is Basal Cell Skin Cancer?

      • The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma (BCC). It grows very slowly and almost never spreads to other parts of the body. It usually grows on parts of the head and neck that had a lot of sun exposure. It occurs more commonly after age 40.

      What Causes BCC?

      • Exposure to ultraviolet light (both UVA and UVB) from the sun or light in tanning salons increases the risk of BCC.
      • Risk of getting BCC is also greater for people who have fair skin and tend to freckle or burn instead of tan. Repeated sunburns or excessive childhood sun exposures, an outdoor job, HIV, medicine that suppresses the body’s infection-fighting system, personal or family history of BCC, and radiation treatment can also increase risk.

      What Are the Symptoms of BCC?

      • BCC usually does not cause any symptoms; however, it can sometimes bleed or scab. It may also be itchy, but it usually doesn’t hurt.
      • Doctors classify the different types of BCC according to shape, appearance, and colour. The most common have a raised, white or pink border and a central depression.

      How Is BCC Diagnosed?

      • The doctor will suspect BCC based on the appearance of the skin but will need a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. In a biopsy, a small piece of the skin area is removed and sent to the laboratory for study under a microscope.

      How Is BCC Treated?

      • Treatment usually consists of doing a biopsy and later removing the skin lesion. Sometimes, the doctor will remove the abnor¬mal area completely without doing a biopsy if the area is small.
      • BCC may in rare cases recur after treatment, especially on the ears, eyelids, scalp, and nose.
      • Other treatment methods are electrosurgery (using an electric needle), cryosurgery (freezing), radiation therapy, and Mohs’ surgery. Mohs’ surgery is a special method for removing BCCs on the nose or eyelid or large BCCs, or for recurrent BCC.
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      What Is Melanoma?

      • Melanoma is a skin cancer that begins in melanocytes. Melanocytes are skin cells that make pigment. Most melanomas appear as new moles; some start from a mole already present. Mela¬noma starts in the mole, spreads nearby and then deeper into the skin, into veins and lymph nodes, and finally into the liver, brain, lungs, and bones.
      • The number of new cases in the United States increased greatly in the last 25 years. If found early, about 85% of melanomas are curable.

      What Causes Melanoma?

      The cause is too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which hurts the skin. Higher risk is related to severe sunburns, light-coloured skin, blue eyes, blond hair, getting freckles, using tan¬ning salons, and having many abnormal moles or family mem¬bers with melanoma. People with dark skin can also get melanoma.

      What Are the Symptoms of Melanoma?

      • Initially, there are no symptoms. When the melanoma spreads, symptoms include ABCD changes in a mole, swollen glands (lymph nodes), shortness of breath, bone pain (when melanoma spreads to bones), and headache, seizures, and visual problems (when melanoma spreads to brain). Skin signs of melanoma are asymmetry (the shape of one half doesn’t match the other), irregular border, uneven colour, and increasing diam¬eter (change in size). These are known as ABCD changes.

      How Is Melanoma Diagnosed?

      • The doctor makes a diagnosis by doing a biopsy (removing a piece of the mole and studying it with a microscope). The biopsy must be done for staging cancer (how thick it is and how deep it goes in the skin). Also, to see whether the cancer spread (metastasised), the doctor looks for swollen lymph nodes during an examination and orders blood tests, chest x-rays, computed tomography (CT) of the head, and a bone scan.

      How Is Melanoma Treated?

      • Treatment depends on the stage of cancer and whether it spread to other organs. Early detection is critical for a cure because advanced melanoma cannot be cured.
      • Surgery is done for all stages. For early stages, a surgeon cuts a wide margin of skin to make sure that all cancer is removed if the melanoma has spread to other organs, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy help symptoms but usually don’t cure it.
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      What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

      • Squamous cells form the part of the skin called the epidermis. Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is a common kind of skin cancer that involves these cells. It occurs most often in people older than age 50.

      What Causes Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

      • The cause is usually longtime sun exposure. Exposure to many x-rays and having light-coloured skin, blue or green eyes, and blond or red hair can also give people greater risks of having this cancer.

      What Are the Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

      • This cancer usually starts as a reddish skin patch with a crusty surface. It may grow and look like a wart or sore. It can grow anywhere, including hands, scalp, ears, and lips. It can form a sore that bleeds on and off. A sore that doesn’t heal may mean squamous cell carcinoma.

      How Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Diagnosed?

      • The doctor will examine the skin, but a skin biopsy is needed for diagnosis. For a biopsy, a tiny piece of skin is shaved off and sent to a laboratory for study. A dermatologist (specialist in skin diseases) may do this.

      How Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treated?

      • Squamous cell carcinoma can most often be cured by taking off cancer. The way to do this depends on the size of the tumour growing below the skin surface.
      • Small tumours can be burned with an electric needle and scraped out. Some can be removed by freezing. These procedures are usually done in the doctor’s office.
      • Larger tumours need to be cut out. The doctor may use a special type of surgery called Mohs micrographic surgery. This operation involves slowly removing layers of skin until the whole cancer is gone. The wound may take up to 6 weeks to heal. The doctor must be told about any signs of infection during this time.
      • Rarely, the tumour spreads. If it has spread to other areas, a doctor specialising in treating cancer can treat this tumour with radiation or cancer drugs.
      • Squamous cell carcinoma can come back, so regular follow-up appointments are a must to find new squamous cell carcinomas early.
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      • Innovative genomic DNA testing to investigate if you are at a higher risk of developing skin malignancy due to certain hereditary mutations in your genes.
      • This genomic test is recommended if you have a strong family history of skin malignancies (i.e. first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with skin malignancy).
      • You will be provided with a DNA assessment kit that contains all the necessary materials and instructions to have your DNA sample taken without any pain or stress.
      • You will be able to take your DNA sample in the comfort of your home (or you can get your treating GP or specialist to take it for you in the clinic). Afterwards, you can simply post the DNA sample back, in the provided prepaid envelope, to Genomic Medicine UK laboratory in London.
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      This genomic malignancy risk assessment evaluates your DNA for the following hereditary genetic mutations that may increase your risk of developing skin malignancy:














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      • If your results show that you are genetically predisposed to developing skin malignancy, your prognosis will be significantly improved by having regular malignancy screenings at shorter intervals. Please remember that the absolute majority of malignant tumours are treatable and curable when they are caught at their early stages.
      • If your test shows that you are at a higher risk of developing skin malignancy, this can be enormously mitigated in most of the cases by adopting a healthier lifestyle and following our malignancy prevention guidance. Please remember that genes are not a destiny book but are only a background for a multitude of different potentials.
      • It is always true that prevention is better than cure.
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      If you your genomic testing showed that you require referral to a specialist consultant, we will provide you, at no cost to you, with a referral letter to a specialist consultant from our wide network of independent doctors all around the United Kingdom. Our referral letter will give the specialist consultant all the needed details to take care of your clinical case, according to the results of the genomic tests you have had at Genomic Medicine UK.

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      • This advanced genomic test is carried out by cutting-edge next-generation DNA sequencing technology at our ISO9000 certified and accredited laboratory.
      • All test results are interpreted and reported in London by our highly qualified licenced consultant medical doctors.
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      If you prefer to visit Genomic Medicine UK instead of having your genomic test by post, as explained above, you are most welcome to book a suitable appointment for you to visit our premises in central London where our fully trained and friendly staff will be more than happy to take your DNA sample in one of our outpatients’ clinics in Harley Street.





    Innovative genomic DNA testing to investigate if you are at a higher risk of developing skin malignancy due to certain hereditary mutations in your genes.