Any type of skin cancer can effect the eyelid skin. Early recognition is essential for best outcomes.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of non-melanoma skin cancer. It is the most common type (greater than 80%) of all skin cancers that can affect the eye area. Basal cell carcinomas are sometimes referred to as ‘rodent ulcers’. The most common cause is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or from sunbeds. Basal cell carcinoma can occur anywhere on the body, but we find them most on sun-exposed areas such as your face, head, neck and ears. Risk factors include fair skin, a tendency to burn rather than tan, and previous history.
We can cure basal cell carcinoma in almost every case. The most common treatment is surgical excision. The treatment will be much easier if we detect your basal cell carcinoma early. Basal cell carcinomas can vary in their appearance, but it is advisable to see a speciliast if you have any concern. Protection from UV light is crucial. Treatment can be more complicated if the basal cell carcinoma has been neglected for a long time.
Basal cell carcinomas rarely spread to other parts of the body. Although it is a type of skin cancer, it is almost never life-threatening.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer that can affect the eyelid.
The most important cause of squamous cell carcinoma is too much exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or other sources. Risk factors include pale skin and past history of skin cancer. Areas exposed to the sun are the areas most commonly affected. A skin biopsy can help to confirm the diagnosis. The vast majority of squamous cell carcinomas are low-risk skin cancers and we can cure them by surgical excision. A small number can recur locally and/or spread (metastasise) to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, which arises from the pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin which can also affect the eyelid area. One of the most important causes of melanoma is exposure to too much ultraviolet light in sunlight. The use of artificial sources of UV light, such as sunbeds, also increases the risk of getting a melanoma.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer because it is more likely to spread (metastasise) from the skin to other parts of the body than other types of skin cancer. The treatment is surgical excision. Most patients do not need either radiotherapy or chemotherapy. You’ll need close follow-up following diagnosis.