Skin Cancer Surgery

Skin Cancer

This is the most common type of cancer. It starts with changes in the skin cells.

The most common cause of this cancer is excessive sun exposure and genetic background (Fair coloured skin and the presence of several moles). Interestingly, skin cancer appears several years after exposure to the sun.

Mr Haddawi is an experienced surgeon in this field with a data base of several thousands of cases.

close-up of skin cancer mole

There are several types of skin cancer, the most common are:

  • Basal Cell Cancer
  • Squamous Cell Cancer
  • Melanoma

Skin cancer can appear in different shapes and forms

For example;

  • Non-healing crusty sore
  • Small lump on the skin
  • An ulcer
  • A keratin horn
  • A pigmented lesion that changed in size, shape, or colour


Prevention is essential by protecting the skin from prolonged exposure to the sun, covering the skin, and avoiding prolonged sunbathing and tanning.

Early detection helps treat the cancer before it progresses and spread. An examination by your doctor is useful. In persons with multiple moles, mole mapping is the most accurate method of detecting changes in these moles; which might indicate progression into early cancer.

A small biopsy of the lesion might be required if there is doubt about the diagnosis or if the surgical management is complex. Often the whole lesion is removed and sent for testing under the microscope.

There are different modalities of treatment, depending on the type of cancer. Mr Haddawi will discuss with you the best modality that suits your case. The most common types of treatment are:

  • Application of Liquid Nitrogen (freezing the lesion).
  • Application of immune modulator and chemotherapeutic creams to the lesion.
  • Surgical removal of the lesion. The wound closure can be done either directly or with a flap or skin graft, depending on the size and site of the skin cancer.

In the majority of cases, the treatment is successful in removing the cancer.


This type of skin cancer starts in the pigment-forming cells of the skin (Melanocytes). Although it is the most serious skin cancer, in many cases, it is early and can be removed before it spreads to other body regions.

Quite often, the surgeon needs to have a two-stage operation for melanoma. The first operation is to remove the cancer for diagnosis and assessment of its type and depth.

According to the histology report, a second planned operation takes place to reach the required safety margin.

If the melanoma is deeper than a certain level, testing the regional lymph nodes might be required; this is referred to as a Sentinel Lymph Node biopsy. 

Long-term follow-up of the deep melanoma might require regular ultrasounds or CT scans; this is discussed on a case-by-case basis

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