What you need to know

It is recommended that you:

  • See a specialist who is a member of a multidisciplinary team. You can ask your GP to refer you.
  • All specialists listed on Canrefer are members of a multidisciplinary team.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is cancer that occurs in any part of the skin. Skin cancer starts when cells in the skin become abnormal. These cells divide and grow to form a cancer. There are three main types of skin cancer. These are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma.

Graphic of a human body highlighting the skin cells

Who do I see for diagnosis and treatment of my skin cancer?

If your GP suspects you have skin cancer, they will refer you to a specialist.

The specialist should:

  • Specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers
  • Be an active member of a multidisciplinary team.

All the specialists listed on Canrefer are members of a multidisciplinary team.

Why are multidisciplinary teams important?

A multidisciplinary team is a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Team members meet regularly to discuss their patients. They plan treatment for new cancer patients and review treatment for existing patients.

Multidisciplinary teams are important. Team members work together to decide the best treatments for patients.

You can ask your GP to refer you to a specialist who is part of a multidisciplinary team. Talk to your GP about this.

All specialists listed on Canrefer are members of a multidisciplinary team.

What tests do I need?

You may need to have a skin biopsy to diagnose your skin cancer. A skin biopsy is a procedure where a very small sample of your skin tissue is taken and examined under the microscope.

What treatment will I have?

Surgery is the most common treatment for skin cancer. Other treatments include:

  • chemotherapy, including topical chemotherapy
  • cryotherapy
  • radiotherapy

Where will I have treatment?

You may have treatment for your skin cancer at your GP's surgery or local hospital that has a cancer service or dermatologist.

If treatment for your skin cancer is specialised and complex, you may need to travel to have a part of your treatment. Your Local Health District will have an arrangement in place for this.

You may be able to have parts of your treatment closer to home. Please discuss this with your treating specialist.

Travel assistance for rural patients

If you live in a rural area and need help to travel for your treatment visit NSW Government IPTAAS for more information.

Cancer information and support

Speak to a specialist health professional about anything to do with cancer.

Phone 13 11 20.

Cancer Council NSW
Questions for your specialist

Find out some key questions to ask your specialist at your first appointment.

Questions you can ask
Booklet about skin cancer

Understanding Skin Cancer is a booklet for people with cancer, their families and friends. 

Cancer Council NSW
Booklet about melanoma

Understanding Melanoma is a booklet for people with cancer, their families and friends. 

Cancer Council NSW