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Celebrity clinic; Vital health.

Byline: with Dr Craig Lennox

Hugh Jackman The actor had treatment for basal cell carcinoma. We ask how common is this cancer? THE Wolverine star, 45, posted a photo of himself on Instagram with a plaster on his nose after surgery to remove a skin cancer.

The Aussie had a basal cell carcinoma, which is a form of non-melanoma skin cancer that can often be cured by surgical removal. In the UK, there are 75,000 new cases of basal cell carcinoma a year, making it the most common type of cancer.

Anyone can be affected but they are more common over the age of 40 and in people with pale skin or eyes.

The biggest risk factor is sun exposure, which explains why they are mostly found on the head and neck. They often grow on the ears, under the eyes, on the nose like Hugh's or on the scalp. This type of skin cancer appears as a non-healing ulcer or lump that slowly grows.

People often ignore the marks or patches in the early stages but they just keep getting bigger.

Treatment is usually by surgical removal of the cancer. The longer the cancer grows, the larger and deeper it is and the more of a scar is left when it is removed.

Hugh credits his wife with encouraging him to get the patch on his nose checked out. As is often the case with cancer, catching it early makes treatment more successful. Hugh will have to keep a close eye on his skin from now on - nearly half of all people with a basal cell carcinoma will develop another one within three years.

'The longer it grows, more of a scar is left on removal'
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 27, 2013
Words:288
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