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Who Should Get A Skin Check?

One in three Australians will develop a skin cancer in their lifetime. The fact is that if you live in Queensland you are at risk of developing skin cancer as we have one of the highest rates in the world. A simple episode of sunburn in early life can be the life changing moment. If you have had significant sun-exposure, work in a job that exposes you to UV radiation, have a family or personal history of skin cancers, or have multiple moles, consider having your skin check. A simple 20-minute check can be life saving.

Facts on skin cancer

  • Queensland has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the World
  • 1 in 3 Australians will develop skin cancer
  • One episode of sunburn doubles your risk of developing melanoma
  • Early skin cancer detection provides the highest survival rate
  • Removing sun damage can reduce the chance of developing skin cancer
  • If you have a new or changing mole- get it checked
  • Skin cancers can present as red patches, changing moles, or symptoms such as itch or bleeding in long standing moles
  • Skin cancer doctors use special photographic and dermatoscopic imaging to diagnose potential skin cancer lesions

Consider a skin check if

What follow up is recommended following treatment of IEC skin cancers?

People who have had IECs are at greater risk of developing other forms of skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma or melanoma.  It is therefore important for people treated for IEC to continue to have regular skin checks performed by their GP, My Skin Cancer doctor or Dermatologist.

What is the difference between BCCs, SCCs and Melanomas?

These 3 forms of skin cancers account for the majority of skin cancers seen in Queensland.

BCCs or basal cell cancers are ‘good cancers’. Mortality rate is virtually nil, however these cancers are locally invasive and can cause destruction of local tissue.

Melanomas are bad skin cancers with a very high mortality rate IF left untreated. If a melanoma is discovered, you will need to be followed up every 3 months for 2 years following the diagnosis of melanoma. Melanomas are graded according to the thickness of the cancer.

SCCs are ‘in between’ skin cancers. They can have a significant mortality rate if they are not treated, especially on areas such as the ears, lips, head and neck area. Excision is usually curative.

How are skin cancers diagnosed?


Skin cancers can be diagnosed clinically (examination), however a firm diagnosis is made on histology. This means the lesion, or a sample of skin is sent away for testing under the microscope.

My Skin Cancer Centre doctors employ thorough Dermatoscopic examination to assist in the diagnosis of skin cancers, including Melanomas.

How common are skin cancers and solar keratosis?


Very. 1 in 16 Queenslanders will develop a Melanoma; one in three residents will develop non-melanoma skin cancer. One in two Caucasian patients over the age of 40 will exhibit solar keratosis- an early marker for sun damage and pre cancer. The Sunshine State of Queensland enjoys brilliant weather for most of the year, but also predisposes their residents to skin cancer.

What is involved in a mole check?


Mole checks are conducted by trained skin cancer doctors using a combination of methods including history taking and a clinical examination.

Skin cancer doctors also use a special method of examining moles ‘under the microscope’ called dermatoscopy.

Why does Brisbane have such a high incidence of skin cancer?


Brisbane has one of the highest Skin Cancer rates in the World. The hard facts are- one in 16 residents will develop a melanoma in their life, and one in three Queenslanders will develop a skin cancer.

Brisbane’s high UV exposure and our outdoor lifestyle are the major contributors to the development of skin cancer and sundamage.

What should I do if I notice a mole changing?

r3Consult a doctor confident and experienced in diagnosing skin lesions- this includes your local GP, a skin cancer doctor, or a Dermatologist. Changing moles, including symptoms such as itch, pain or bleeding, can be an early sign of skin cancer or melanoma. Never ignore changing moles.

What does a skin cancer look like?


Skin cancers can look like innocent lesions such as warts, flat moles, or persistent red spots. The biggest clue to a clinical diagnosis of a skin cancer is a changing lesion or a new persistent lesion. Remember, skin cancers are not just black moles, they can resemble warts, or even flat red patches. Your skin cancer doctor can give you a diagnosis, or if in doubt, conduct a biopsy.

Why is it important to treat sun damage?


Sun damage can present as sun-spots or solar keratosis- rough, dry, persistent scaly areas on exposed parts of the face and body. Solar keratoses are lesions that can, over time, lead to skin cancer. Brisbane has one of the highest rates of solar keratosis in the World.

How are we different from your General Practitioner?


The Skin Cancer Doctors at My Skin Clinic have a Special interest in managing skin cancer and sundamage, and have additional training in this field.