Interview transcription:

In an interview, Penelope Pratsou speaks about the areas of your body that skin cancer affects and how the treatment might differ depending on the area where it appears. 

Which areas of the body does skin cancer affect?

Penelope Pratsou: It can appear on any part of your body, but mostly on sun-exposed areas. We are talking about long-term sun exposure, e.g. the face, the scalp, the ears, the backs of your hands. If you have exposed your back or your legs to the sun over many years, then it may appear there.

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Penelope Pratsou: In terms of how the treatment varies, that depends on the area the skin cancer affects you but also on the size of the skin lesion. Additionally, it depends on whether the tumour is superficial or not.

In the vast majority of cases, I can see you and remove a skin cancer within my own practice, often on the same day as your consultation.

If you had a large suspected skin cancer on your nose or ears, it is very important that you see a dermatologist for diagnosis and you might require a small skin biopsy. If you had a basal cell carcinoma in those areas, there is also the option of radiotherapy, (x-ray treatment) instead of surgery. In some cases, you might require a visit to a plastic surgeon who would discuss the need for closing the wound with skin borrowed from different areas of your body.

A superficial basal cell carcinoma is treated as sun damage rather than anything else. Therefore our treatment would be more superficial. You might have a cream or cold spray for it.

If you notice that you have any of the symptoms or conditions that we’ve just discussed, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr Penelope Pratsou. She’ll be able to assess your situation and give you a personalised treatment plan.

About the author

Dr Penelope Pratsou | Consultant Dermatologist

MBChB, MRCP (UK) (Dermatology)

I’m Dr Penelope Pratsou, a skilled independent Consultant Dermatologist based in Berkshire. I have specialist expertise in the diagnosis and management of all skin cancers, and in performing mole checks. I’m a trained skin surgeon and remove skin cancers, moles, skin tags, cysts and warts.

I also have invaluable experience in dealing with all skin conditions, from the common skin complaints of acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, to the rarer and more complex skin problems, having seen it all through years of NHS work.

After I obtained my Membership to the Royal College of Physicians, I undertook rigorous specialist training in dermatology, before being appointed as a Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. There, I helped set up and lead a busy clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of suspected skin cancer. I was also actively involved in supervising and training both dermatology and GP trainees.

Alongside my increasingly busy private practice, I have maintained an NHS practice in Oxford in order to continue to engage with challenging cases and to develop my specialist interest in skin allergy.

Learn more about me