Skin cancer (melanoma) occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Australia has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world. Most skin cancers that are diagnosed and treated early are curable, however.
Get into the habit of checking your skin regularly. Become familiar with your skin and what looks normal for you to help you find changes earlier. A common misconception is that checking your own skin is less important if you have naturally dark skin. Although the risk of skin cancer is lower, it is more likely to be found at a later, more dangerous stage than people with lighter skin. When checking your skin, find a place with good light and a full-length mirror. Use a hand-held mirror to check your scalp, back, and other places you can’t easily see. Check all of your skin – not just sun-exposed areas. If you notice anything unusual, including any new spots, or change in shape, colour or size of a spot, you should come and see us for a skin cancer check.
Prevention is always better than cure. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect your skin from the sun. Know when the UV is 3 and above with sun protection recommended for your location by using an app like SunSmart. Seek shade, especially in the hottest part of the day. Wear sun-protective clothing that covers your back, shoulders, arms and legs. Wear a broad-brimmed hat. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 every 2 hours and after swimming or exercise. Wear wrap-around sunglasses.
Doctors at Turn The Corner perform skin checks (relating to common skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, skin infections etc) as well as skin cancer checks. A full-body check requires a 30-minute in-clinic appointment – there is a special appointment type for this that you will see when booking, because only certain doctors offer it. Fees are the same as for a normal 30 min appointment. If you are an existing patient and wish the doctor to examine only a single small area, and you have no other issues to raise, you are welcome to book a normal 15 min appointment with your usual doctor.
Following a skin check, your doctor might recommend that you have a skin excision procedure. Your doctor might be able to perform this procedure themselves in a subsequent appointment, or they might recommend a colleague at Turn The Corner do so. For more complex issues, your doctor might refer you on to a skin procedure specialist elsewhere.
Please visit our Appointments page to book a time for your skin check with one of the best doctors of Brunswick and Northcote.