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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
'Kinder' skin cancer unit opens
Melanoma
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer
A ground-breaking unit dedicated to combating skin cancer has been opened at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

The Tayside Dermatology, Skin Cancer Treatment and Research Centre is the first unit of its type in Scotland.

It has been set up in response to the growing numbers of patients who suffer from skin cancer.

The unit will specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer using "kinder" treatments which involve light-sensitive treatment or creams.

The treatments would avoid the need for surgery.

In the past, the only approach to skin cancer was to operate but now we have many new treatments which will allow us to give tailored treatment for individuals
Dr Colin Fleming
Consultant dermatologist

Consultant dermatologist Dr Colin Fleming said skin cancer had reached epidemic proportions with cases in the UK increasing by 5% every year.

Dr Fleming, who led the development of the new unit, said: "Skin cancer is now the most common cancer in humans.

"It has increased faster than any other form of cancer in the last 20 years and this rise in the rate of skin cancer is predicted to increase for at least 15 more years.

"In the past, the only approach to skin cancer was to operate but now we have many new treatments which will allow us to give tailored treatment for individuals.

"Some of these treatments can be applied at home and many cause little discomfort."

Owen Maguire is being treated at the new unit.

The 71-year-old, from Crieff, Perthshire, has been receiving treatment for skin cancer for more than 30 years after an early life at sea and then years working abroad.

'Renowned research'

He said: "There was no media about skin cancer or government warnings in the early days.

"I've got it not only on my face but my arms, my legs and my back. Now when I go out to play golf or go out in the garden, I put on cream with a protection factor of 60.

"I have also been analysed carefully by Dr Fleming over the last seven or eight years and he has managed to control the cancer down to just very small things so I no longer need huge big operations."

Funding for the unit, which was officially opened on Thursday, was raised through public support and local charities with strong support from NHS Tayside and the Scottish Executive as well as a variety of other sources such as Scottish Enterprise.

Chairman of NHS Tayside Peter Bates said: "This new facility at Ninewells will allow clinicians to build on the internationally renowned research here in Tayside and most importantly provide the latest and very best treatments for patients with skin cancer."




SEE ALSO
Warning over rise in skin cancer
03 Apr 07 |  Cornwall
Scots ignore skin cancer warning
03 Apr 07 |  Scotland
Advance in skin cancer treatment
22 Feb 07 |  England

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