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Skin cancer patients to benefit from new specialist equipment 

Patients with slow growing skin cancers and pre-cancerous skin lesions will benefit from a new £5,000 light therapy machine from the Salisbury League of Friends and £3,750 pain relief supercooler from the Wessex Cancer Trust.



Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) provides an alternative to more radical treatments such as surgery or radiotherapy and works in combination with a special medical cream that destroys cancerous cells when exposed to a red light. It is effective in cancers at the outermost parts of the skin, called basal cell carcinomas (rodent ulcers),  and the pre cancerous Bowen's disease.


The treatment can sometimes cause a burning sensation which is alleviated by the supercooler, this makes the treatment more comfortable for the patient.


Deborah Mitchell, Consultant Dermatologist said: " Photodynamic therapy is only suitable in certain cases. However, there are real benefits for people with cancers and precancerous conditions that affect the outermost layers of the skin, especially people with lesions on the leg where the circulation can be impaired. This is because it leaves healthy tissue unharmed and the treatment causes minimal skin damage in comparison with surgery."


Dr Mitchell said: "Both the therapy machine and the supercooler will make a real difference to the treatment we give people with slow growing skin cancers and we are very grateful to both the Salisbury League of Friends and the Wessex Cancer Trust for their generous support." Ends


Notes to editors:



The media are invited to attend the handover of this equipment in the Dermatology Department on Tuesday, November 27 at 3.30 pm.  If you would like to attend please contact Patrick Butler (details below).


There are two main groups of skin cancer: Malignant melanoma and non-malignant melanoma skin cancer:


Malignant Melanoma


·         Malignant melanoma is the rarest, but most serious. It affects the pigment-producing cells found in the skin and can appear as a new mole, or from an existing mole.


·         A malignant melanoma has the potential to spread to other sites and organs within the body, but is curable if treated early. It is more difficult to cure if it spreads.


Non malignant melanoma skin cancer


·         These are far more common, but less dangerous than malignant melanoma and very rarely fatal.


·         Basel cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma frequently appear on skin after many years' exposure to the sun.


·         They are easily treated, but if left, can grow and disfigure. Early treatment is recommended.




Frequent checks for any moles that change size, shape or colour; or any skin lesion that does not heal, gets bigger, itchy or inflamed. If you are worried consult your GP.


Many skin cancers can be treated if caught early enough and the national skin cancer helpline is also based at Salisbury District Hospital. Known as Marc's Line – this service is funded by the Wessex Cancer Trust to give help and advice on skin cancer to people with skin cancer and their family and friends. The helpline will also give advice to anyone worried that they may have skin cancer.  The Marc's Line number is 01722 415071


For further information please contact:

Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. SP2 8BJ. Tel: 01722 425170
Page Last Updated: 08/05/2014 10:05 
Printed from Salisbury NHS Foundation Website