Now that another wonderful Australian summer has drawn to an end, it’s the perfect time to consider having a skin cancer check at Newtown Medical Centre.
Why Should You Get a Skin Cancer Check?
Melanoma currently makes up 20% of cancer cases in young Australians aged between 20 and 39 years old. Every day four people in Australia die from Melanoma. Although these statistics are alarming, Melanoma is preventable, and when detected early on, curable.
What Happens at a Skin Cancer Check?
During your appointment, the doctor will go over your medical history with you to establish your skin cancer risk. Let your doctor know if you have any moles or spots of particular concern. A full body skin check will be performed using a magnifying tool called a dermoscope. At the completion of the full body check, your doctor will discuss your findings and whether any follow up is required. The doctor will also chat to you about skin cancer prevention measures that you can take to help reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer accounts for 80% of all new cancers diagnosed each year, and it’s the most common form of cancer in Australia. Basal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are the three main types of skin cancers. Basal and Squamous are the most common types, often referred to as the non-melanoma skin cancers to distinguish them from Melanoma. These ‘non-melanoma’ cancers are less likely to spread and can usually be treated with a simple surgery. Melanoma, on the other hand, is invasive, can grow deep into the skin and can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma changes shape and/or thickness over time and usually begins as a new small freckle, mole or spot.
Treatment of Skin Cancer
There is no one size fits all approach to treating skin cancer. Different methods are used depending on the size, location and type of skin cancer. A patient’s age, occupation, health and treatment preference are also considered when choosing the best treatment method. If required, our specialist doctors will be able to discuss treatment options with you.
The Best Prevention
Avoid sunburn! Although spending time outdoors is a huge part of the Aussie way of life, it’s important to remember that your skin needs protection from the sun. Many of us know that wearing sunblock when you go to the beach, do gardening, or play sport outdoors is essential, but what most people don’t realise is that it’s just as important to protect yourself from the sun during every day activities. Like when you’re walking to and from school or work, watching a football game outside, driving in the car, or walking around the city centre. Even short exposure to the sun can damage your skin. Seek shade when you’re outside, and remember to slip, slop, slap and wrap on a pair of sun glasses.
If you’d like to make an appointment for a skin cancer check, please phone us on
(03) 5221 5044.