Using this guide What's covered
What is a skin tumour?
A skin tumour is an abnormal mass of tissue growth that generally provides no useful function. They may be classified as benign or malignant:
Benign tumours are non-cancerous, slow growing and rarely spread to surrounding tissues. The cells don't separate and travel via the bloodstream or lymphatic vessels to form masses in other parts of the body.
Benign tumour cells closely resemble the normal cells from which they originate. In most cases – unless the tumour becomes a problem by either growing bigger, being uncomfortable or unsightly – there is no need for removal.
Malignant tumours multiply rapidly and are made up of cancerous cells that don’t perform the functions of mature cells. These cancerous cells vary in size and shape and pile themselves on top of each other in a disorganised manner.
Malignant tumours can separate from the main site and pass through the blood or lymphatic vessels to create a new tumour far from the original. The second tumour is called a metastasis. Malignant tumours need to be removed because they grow rapidly and spread to other areas of the body.
PREPARING FOR SURGERY
Types of skin tumours
How tumours grow and what they may look like.
Are you at risk?
Major risk factors and the importance of early detection.
Choosing a specialist
How to find a surgeon who specialises in your procedure.
Questions for your specialist
What you should be asking before going ahead with surgery.
Your treatment will depend on the type of tumour and whether it has spread.
Preparing for your procedure
Pre-operative tests and what to take to hospital.
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