Full skin checks and Excisions
Education, Prevention & early Detection are the keys to reducing your risks of skin cancer.
With one in twenty Queenslanders likely to be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime, it is no wonder that Brisbane is often called the skin cancer capital of the world. More than 1300 Australians die from skin cancer each year, and one in two will get skin cancer in their lifetime. We use state-of-the-art high resolution imaging to improve the likelihood of early detection of all types of skin cancers to assist with a patient’s diagnosis and management.
What is skin cancer?
There are 3 important types of skin cancer:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma or BCC
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma or SCC
- Malignant Melanoma – the most serious
Understanding the differences between these, and how to treat them effectively requires training and expertise.
Every change in a mole is an alarm signal, and they can often be in the most obscure hidden areas such as between your toes and within the hairline. If you notice any of the following changes, we recommend you book in to see one of our Skin Cancer Clinic doctors immediately:
- Change in colour
- Irregular edges
- Changes in the surrounding skin e.g. reddening, itching or an odd sensation, scaliness, roughness, oozing, bleeding, or
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- A mole that bleeds
- New moles (especially if occurring after 25 years of age)
How do we get skin cancer?
Each one of us can be at risk of developing skin cancer. The risk does increases as you get older, therefore being vigilant is important.
The most obvious cause of skin cancer is too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (from sunlight or tanning beds and lamps) UV is the invisible killer that you can't see and can't feel. Even mild sunburn can cause long lasting damage to normal skin. Heat and high temperatures are not an indication of the level of UV radiation; you can be exposed to dangerous levels of UV even in winter. Look for UV Alerts issued by the Department of Meteorology to better know your risks day to day. UV levels of 3 (moderate) and above can damage your skin and can cause skin cancer.
Your skin type can also be a risk factor when it comes to developing skin cancer. People with pale skin which burns easily or doesn't tan much or at all, or those with natural red or blond hair are potentially more at risk.
A family history of skin cancer or a weakened immune system may increase your chances of developing skin cancer.
Talk to your doctor about these factors when you book in for your next skin check or go to www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/causes-of-skin-cancer.html
How can I help prevent skin cancer?
Lowering your risk of skin cancer can be as simple as avoiding long exposure to intense sunlight and practicing sun safety. You can still exercise and enjoy the outdoors while using sun safety at the same time.
The key steps to being SunSmart are easy to use all the time:
- Step 1 – seek shade where possible
- Step 2 – wear protective clothing that covers your arms, legs and body
- Step 3 – wear a broad brimmed hat that shades your face and neck
- Step 4 – wear good quality UV protection sunglasses
- Step 5 – apply SPF30+ broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen every 2 hours
- Step 6 – Check the UV rating at before stepping outside – perhaps you can avoid being outdoors during the highest risk times of day
Please call the surgery on 07 3351 0323 to arrange a skin consult.