Options in the UK

In the United Kingdom, skin cancer accounts for roughly 4% of all cancer cases. While this might seem like a small percentage, it represents over 13,000 people (roughly 36 people being diagnosed a day). With so many people wondering how to get treatment, there are many options available out there.

These options though are essentially split between two choices: public and private treatment. Public treatments come in the form of the NHS (National Health Service). Private treatment comes in a variety of forms depending on where you live, what level of treatment you need and how much you’re willing to pay to get the cancer treated.

Skin cancer in public hospitals is covered along the breadth of the country, but getting specialised treatments requires going to certain NHS hospitals. With limited resources in some locations, patients can find themselves being put on waiting lists in some cases and essentially living away from home for long periods, but the NHS systems means that patients will always have access to some level of help throughout treatment at all times.

It doesn’t mean that a patient will be getting the latest drugs available though. Access to new cancer drugs is only done when a body called NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) approves something for use. That doesn’t mean that someone with cancer can’t get access to new drugs in the UK. Private cancer clinics are able to use new drugs that have been tested and approved in other countries and are known to work effectively. One of the main reasons they can do this is because of cost. The NHS has budgets to work with, meaning that they might have to reject a certain drug based on its price. Private hospitals don’t have this problem; many even have their own research facilities to make these medicines.

Finding the right private skin cancer clinic isn’t difficult. One quick search on Google and you’re given over a million results. But which are the best? Here are some of the top private cancer hospitals in the UK to look out for when researching skin cancer online:

Platinum Medical Centre, London

• London Bridge Hospital, London

• Leaders in Oncology Care, London

• The Christie Clinic, Manchester

• The Yorkshire Clinic, West Yorkshire

• The Mole Clinic, London

• Vale Healthcare, Cardiff

And while they mightn’t be as close as your local hospital, they can make the experience of fighting cancer much more approachable. Private cancer clinics do cost money of course and it’s up to the individual what way they want to get treatment, on their own terms.