Surgery

Surgery is presently the most effective method of treating skin cancer.

Excision

The skin cancer and a margin of normal appearing tissue is excised. Usually a scalpel is used, and a diathermy stops the bleeding.

Repair of Defect

The defect caused by the excision is then repaired, usually by suturing the wound closed. If the wound cannot be closed by simply suturing the edges together, flap surgery or skin grafts are sometimes required.

Histological Testing

The removed tissue is sent for testing (examination under a microscope). The edges of the excised tissue is assessed, to determine if the margins are clear.

Clear Margins

If the edges are not clear, further surgery is undertaken until a specimen is removed that does not show cancer at the edges.