With all our sun in Australia we are at risk of developing skin cancer. The earlier this is detected the easier the treatment and better the outcome.
We provide regular mole and skin clinics to prevent, detect and treat skin cancer before it becomes advanced. Our doctors have undergone additional training in this area and utilise photo-dermatoscopy and scientific algorithms to ensure accurate and early diagnosis of skin cancer to facilitate treatment. Please avoid the use of nail polish and make-up prior to mole clinic appointments.
Who is at greatest risk of skin cancers?
Factors that increase a patient’s risk of skin cancer include pale skin colour, increasing age, long periods of time spent outdoors, history of repeated sunburn, higher density of moles, a personal history of skin cancer and a family history of melanoma.
What should patients look out for between skin checks?
Skin cancers are extremely varied in appearance, which is why a skin check with a trained professional is the best way to detect skin cancers early. In general, sores that fail to heal, lesions that change size or shape, lesions that stand out and look different, or even new lesions should all prompt patients to be clinically reviewed.
How often a patient has their skin checked is dependent on their previous history and overall risk. Generally regular skin checks are not commenced until adulthood. However, skin cancers can occur at any age, so if you have a skin lesion that is concerning to you, it is worthwhile having it checked.
What can I do to prevent skin cancer?
Wear sun protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
Apply broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outdoors and then every two hours afterwards.
Wear a hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
Seek shade in the middle hours of the day.
Wear sun glasses that meet Australian standards.
If a concerning lesion is found during a skin check, how do I organise treatment?
Treatment for skin cancer varies and is dependent on the type of skin cancer. Some skin cancers can be effectively treated with locally acting creams or cryotherapy. Other skin cancers require a surgical excision procedure either to remove a sample of the lesion to clarify the type of skin cancer or to remove the whole lesion.
Our doctors perform excisions safely on site in our fully fitted out treatment room at GPs on Bayview and if a lesion is identified during a skin check that requires excision, we’ll organise a time for you to return so this can be performed. Sometimes, where a lesion requires a complex procedure, we can refer you directly to a specialist.