Skin Cancer Surgery

“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” John Diamond

Skin Cancer Introduction

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and New Zealand has the highest skin cancer rate in the world. Research suggests that two in three New Zealanders will develop a non-melanoma skin cancer during their lifetime.

If you think you might have a skin cancer, it can be a concerning time, and you may be wondering what the options are. The earlier a skin cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of it being treated successfully. Left untreated, the skin cancer will continue to grow, and in some cases, it can cause significant destruction to vital structures or even be life-threatening.

Patients who have received an organ transplant have a higher risk for developing skin cancers, up to 250-fold, compared with non-transplant patients. In particular, transplant recipients have a significantly increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinomas. SCC is more likely to spread in organ transplant recipients and may lead to the death of the patient.

Dr Mackenzie undertook her PhD studies at the University of Otago focusing on skin cancers in kidney transplant patients. She published her numerous papers and her work allowed her to make a significant improvement to management of skin cancers in kidney transplant patients.

Dr Mackenzie can see patients with more complex skin cancers that need reconstruction and are on the face. She uses a range of techniques, such as local flaps or grafts. The aim is to excise the cancer with an appropriate margin and achieve the best possible functional and aesthetic outcome.

Malignant Melanoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma