There are numerous forms of skin cancer. While most forms are aggressive, such as basal cell carcinoma, other forms may be more severe, in particular melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and cutaneous lymphoma. The Eugène Marquis Centre provides care for patients with skin cancer.
Malignant melanoma is far less common than epithelioma. It occurs most commonly in white skin. Sun exposure is a key risk factor. It can take the form of a black lesion recently appeared on otherwise healthy skin. It can also appear on existing “beauty marks” or “moles”. Any part of the body can be affected, including mucous membranes and conjunctiva.
When a melanoma has been confirmed, it is treated primarily by surgery; the lesion, along with a safety margin, is removed.
Removing a skin tumour (exeresis), whether large or small, is still considered to be surgery. Surgical exeresis must remove the entire tumour, including a “safety margin”, i.e. additional tissue from around and below the tumour, in order to prevent reoccurrence. Lesions are always examined under a microscope, as this is the only way of confirming whether the tumour is benign or malignant (cancerous). In the case of large tumours or tumours in difficult locations, or if your doctor is not sure whether it is malignant, your surgeon may carry out a biopsy (removal of a small part of the lesion).
Every week, specialists come together during a multidisciplinary team meeting, including surgeons, radiologists, medical oncologists, radiotherapists and anatomical pathologists.
After you have undergone surgery and the histological results have been confirmed, your medical file will be discussed at these meetings, and recommendations on the most suitable treatment will be made. At your post-surgery consultation, your surgeon will discuss with you the recommendations presented at meeting.
All results are communicated to your general practitioner and your dermatologist.