Skin Cancer

Photo of a woman applying sun protection, skin cancer preventon

Skin Cancer Treatments: Liquid Nitrogen Cryotherapy 5 Flourouracil CreamFull-face medium depth chemical peels | Curettage and Cautery | Imiquimod Cream | Photodynamic Therapy | Radiotherapy | Surgical Excision | Picato


As fully qualified members of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, our specialists at ID+LC have training in a number of procedures to treat both skin cancer and pre-cancerous conditions such as sunspots. You can be confident that whatever course of treatment we recommend, it will be carefully considered based on your specific condition and individual circumstances. Some of the treatments we may consider are:


Liquid Nitrogen Cryotherapy

A common procedure where liquid nitrogen is used to freeze off sunspots and some forms of skin cancer.

5 Flourouracil Cream

This treatment is often recommended for premalignant actinic keratosis (also known as sunspots). The cream is applied for two to three weeks.

Full-face medium depth chemical peels

Another treatment for actinic keratosis. Medium depth peels penetrate deeper than standard cosmetic ones, so at ID+LC we carry out this procedure with pain relief and sedation. The healing time is around ten days.

Curettage and Cautery

Curettage, performed under a local anaesthetic, is a process that removes early skin cancer with a shallow scraping of the top layer of skin cells. The remaining cells are destroyed by cautery (heat). It is mainly used to treat lesions on the torso or limbs.

Imiquimod Cream

This cream is effective on certain actinic keratoses and superficial basal cell carcinomas (BCCs). Applied over six weeks, this treatment helps the patient’s own immune system clear away the cancerous cells. Healing takes a few weeks depending on the site treated. The success rate is approximately 80%.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

This is an effective treatment for actinic keratosis. Lesions are treated with a cream that is selectively absorbed by cancerous and precancerous cells. Three hours later it is exposed to a special light that then destroys the targeted cells. It requires two treatments, one week apart. It leaves little or no scarring and has an 80% success rate. However, at the moment it is still quite expensive and not yet subsidised by Medicare.

Radiotherapy

The principal of ID+LC, Dr Robert Salmon, has 20 years of practical experience in radiotherapy, acting as the main tutor in the subject for the Australasian College of Dermatologists in NSW.

We don’t currently operate a radiotherapy unit at ID+LC, but we work closely with the radiation oncologists at Wollongong Hospital and refer on cases where we feel that this option is the best course of treatment.

Surgical Excision

Surgery is the gold standard for removal of most advanced skin cancers and all melanomas. All our doctors are highly trained in this field. At ID+LC we have a state of the art office-based operating suite where we can perform simple and complex skin cancer surgery under local anaesthesia. If you’re a privately insured patient requiring more complex reconstruction, Dr Salmon surgery list at Wollongong Day Surgery, where general anaesthesia is also available.

Picato

Picato® gel, 0.015% is used as a topical treatment of solar keratoses (sun spots) on the face and scalp of adults. Solar keratoses are thickened, scaly patches of skin caused by too much sun exposure. Solar keratoses are also known as actinic keratoses. Picato® gel contains the active ingredient ingenol mebutate, which treats the lesions in the area where the gel is applied. This treatment is only available with a doctor’s supervision and is not suitable for all patients or areas of the body with solar keratosis.

Picato® gel is only available with a doctor’s prescription.