It’s well known that Australians have a higher risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer due to more extreme UV exposure than in other parts of the world. Geelong is no exception to that and with the warmer weather on the way it’s worth talking about skin checks and early detection of cancerous or precancerous cells.
Four reasons to get your skin checked early and regularly
- The best way to manage skin cancer is through prevention or early detection
- It’s far more likely that anything found early is totally curable
- Small problems can usually be treated without disfiguring treatment
- We’re able to check common areas that you can’t see well such as tops of heads and behind ears
Types of Skin Cancer
You’ve probably heard of Melanoma but there are three main skin cancer types that welook for.
- Melanoma is a risk from late teenage years across the whole lifespan
- Basal cell cancer more common in middle aged and older
- Squamous cell cancer more common in middle aged and older
How often should you get screened?
Annual skin checks are recommended from as young as 20 years of age. This is especially important for higher risk groups such as fair skinned people, red heads, and people with lot of moles.
Occasionally melanoma can arise in non sun exposed areas of the skin as well which is more common if you have a family history of the disease.
What do skin checks involve?
Kardinia Health offer fully comprehensive skin checks using our state-of-the-art facilities.
We use a dermatoscope, which is a non invasive dermatological light that assists us in examining pigmented lesions. This helps us identify normal moles from those that should be removed or biopsied.
We also recommend skin photography for people with a lot of moles. This helps us gain a long term picture of changes in the skin.
Things you can look out for yourself
There are a number of signs that you can look out for as well.
- New lesions that you aren’t sure about
- Any lesion that is slow to heal e.g. bleeds then starts to heal then bleeds again
- Lesions that are constantly itchy
If something is found, what are the treatment options?
When something concerning is found there are a number of treatment options available.
- A lesion can be biopsied and removed if necessary
- Pre-cancers can be treated by freezing
- Immune modulator creams are prescribed creams that can treat precancerous or basal cancer cells by helping your immune system identify and kill cells that should not be there
How do I book a skin check?
If you’re interested in booking a skin check please contact reception on (03) 5202 9333 and mention that you’re wanting your skin checked so that an appointment of an appropriate length is booked.