Skin Cancer Checks & Mole Mapping
IMPORTANT NOTICE RE MELANOMA/SKIN CANCER EXAMINATIONS UNDER THE CURRENT STATE OF EMERGENCY
Given the current “STAY AT HOME” advice, skin cancer examinations should currently only be performed if they are “essential”. An “essential” examination is one where the potential benefits outweigh the risks and for the time being, we will accept the patient’s determination of what is “essential”.
If you are worried about a changing skin spot, or if you are anxious because you have been told you have a high risk of melanoma (e.g. you have had a melanoma in the past or you have lots of moles), then you may choose to have your skin examined. Otherwise, please speak to our staff and defer your skin examination until the current state of emergency has ended.
Croxton Medical Centre has the latest state of the art MoleMAX II scanner, developed by the University of Vienna. Research with this machine has shown that there are a number of early warning signs to assist diagnosis of malignant skin lesions.
The MoleMAX II machine allows for very high magnification with special light frequencies to let the doctor look into the structure of the skin. The technology is world leading and allows for even earlier diagnosis and treatment.
The MoleMax II was the first integrated system for digital epiluminescence microscopy and macro imaging in the world. Researches at the Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna Medical School assisted in the development of the technology and application.
Importantly, the MoleMAX® computer stores all images of moles and lesions for future baseline comparison. It is available at other medical clinics around Australia so upon request we can provide you with a copy for your records.
How long does a skin check take?
A skin check can take up to 30 minutes. This includes a consultation with the practice nurse to ask you questions about your general health and family history for our records. Make sure you tell the doctor or nurse about any moles or spots on your skin you have been worried about. The actual check of your skin can take from 20 to 30 minutes depending on your skin type and the number of moles and spots to be looked at.
What equipment does the doctor use?
Your doctor will use a dermatoscope to have a close up / magnified look at any spots of concern. A dermatoscope is a bit like a torch with a magnifying glass attached to the end. Using a dermatoscope is painless. Photos of all you moles will then be taken so they can be monitored over time for any changes in appearance.
Do I have to get undressed?
Yes – down to your underwear.
What happens if the doctor finds anything which could be skin cancer?
Your doctor will tell you straight away if you have any moles or spots which require testing. To test the mole or spot the doctor will either take a small biopsy (sample) of it, or completely excise (cut out) the spot of concern – under local anaesthetic of course. In most cases another appointment will be made to remove the abnormal mole or spot. This type of minor surgery can be carried out at your doctor’s surgery or office. There is usually no need for this to be done in a hospital.
After it is removed, the mole or spot is sent to a pathology laboratory for testing. Receiving the test results can take from one to several days, depending on the pathology provider.
What happens if skin cancer is found?
In most cases, when found early, skin cancer can be easily and successfully treated with surgery. Most skin cancers are cured once they are removed. Other non surgical treatments such as creams, radiotherapy, or light therapy may be used but this will depend on the type of skin cancer found.
What happens after the skin check?
Depending on your level of risk for developing skin cancer, your doctor may recommend regular follow up skin checks. The frequency for follow up skin checks can vary from every few months, to once every year or two. Most doctors will have a system in place to send you a skin check reminder, but it is also a good idea to keep your own record of when a follow up skin check is due.
For more information on how to examine your skin at home and things to look out for please visit SCAN your skin . This web page has a lot of useful information.
Call now to make an appointment (03) 94893900
Please note clinic is closed between 12pm - 2pm during lunch hours Monday - Friday.
9:00am – 5:00pm
9:00am – 5:00pm
Skin Cancer College Accredited Doctor service
A comprehensive skin check is vital for early detection of skin cancer. Doctors displaying this symbol have undertaken very high level training and testing with the Skin Cancer College Australasia.
This easy to recognise symbol allows you to quickly identify doctors who have proven skills and knowledge in the diagnosis and management of skin cancer.