Fact: 2 out of 3 Australians will develop skin cancer
The best thing you can do for your skin's health is keep an eye on it and specifically note and be aware of any changes.
Skin Cancer – Am I at risk?
- Have you noticed - A sore that will not heal?
- A new mole that looks unusual?
- A mole that has recently changed colour, size, shape or has started to itch or bleed?
- Spots or lumps that bleed easily when rubbed?
- New lumps & bumps (any colour)?
- Crusty, scaling spots or scabs?
Our Doctors will examine the spot and depending on the diagnosis may elect to treat it, monitor it or reassure you that it is harmless.
What happens during a skin check?
At the initial consultation the doctor will take your history, examine you and suggest an appropriate treatment. If this involves surgical removal of a lesion the procedure will be explained to you at this consultation as well as any potential risks associated with the procedure. The procedure will NOT usually be undertaken at the initial consultation and another appointment will be booked for you. Alternatively, the doctor may suggest that you undergo computerised mole monitoring using MoleMax® imaging.
There are 3 main types of skin cancer
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common and least dangerous form of skin cancer. It appears as a red, pale or pearly lump, or dry scaly area, and may ulcerate or fail to completely heal. They usually grow slowly, and appear on the head, neck and upper torso.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma is not as dangerous as melanoma and appears as a thickened, red scaly spot that may bleed easily, crust or ulcerate. It usually appears on skin that is most often exposed to the sun and grows over some months. Squamous cell carcinoma is more likely to occur in people over fifty years.
- Melanoma is cancer of the cells in the skin that produce melanin, the substance that gives you a tan. In their early stages melanomas can resemble normal moles on your skin, and if not diagnosed and removed quickly, the cancer can spread and become life threatening. Melanoma is the seventh most common type of cancer and the incidence of melanoma is increasing at a rate greater than any other form of cancer (US Figures).
When should I have my moles examined?
The American Cancer Society suggests that moles with the following "ABCDE" features should be referred to a Doctor:
- Asymmetrical - where one side of the mole doesn't match the other.
- Border - edges are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred.
- Colours - several different colours within the lesion.
- Diameter - greater than 6mm.
- Evolution - changes in size shape or colour.
How does the MoleMAX® work?
Our Clinic has the MoleMAX® system which consists of a specially designed hand-held camera that has the ability to magnify a mole up to 30 times. It uses specialised light to look through the skin thus allowing a clear view of the structure of the mole. This technology has the capability to assist doctors in the early detection of melanoma. Importantly, the MoleMAX® computer stores all images of moles and lesions for future baseline comparison.
What are the costs* and services?
Whole Body Examination - $100 - $150. Photo mapping of the body
- Scanning of moles (pictures of abnormal moles will be stored in the computer for future review)
- Diagnosis of the images stored.
- All visits for review of images within 12 months of the date of the initial mapping.