We live in one of the most skin-cancer-prone areas on earth, with two out of every three Australians being diagnosed with some form of skin cancer at a skin cancer clinic by the age of 70. Those odds are pretty alarming and mean getting regular skin checks is imperative – even if you use sunscreen and sun protection religiously. Most non-melanoma skin cancers are relatively easy to treat and hardly ever spread, but there are risks involved in melanomas.
Don’t let anxiety get the better of you
It can be nerve-wracking to go and have a cancer check – what if I have it? It can seem easier to bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. For this reason, with an eye on the stats, it’s important to push a little harder through your fear and anxiety to be proactive about your moles and skin.
Book yourself into a skin cancer clinic (we can do the checks for you at ENRICH in Melbourne) to have a full check of your body to make sure we keep a close eye on any suspect spots, while giving you the all-clear for your peace of mind.
Skin cancer checks have fallen through the cancer screening gaps – we get regular pap smears, mammograms and bowel cancer checks, but we aren’t told to get regular skin cancer checks at a skin cancer clinic.
Why? We’re working on it!
For a country that has so much skin cancer and deadly melanomas, we need screening as a matter of course, rather than as an option. The main problem we face is that skin cancer screening for everyone regularly would be quite costly to the government. You need to take this screening into your own hands, and not wait for the government to help you.
The reasons for not implementing a nationwide skin cancer screening protocol are reasonable – not that many people actually die from non-melanoma skin cancers, and advanced melanoma is deadly but not especially common compared to other health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, which do present some public health concerns.
Additionally, the instruments used by a GP to check for skin cancer are not particularly accurate, meaning doctors would be doing ineffective testing at great cost. Improvements need to be made to this system, but at the moment this is the situation.
The recommendation is that you check your own skin and ask your doctor to check anything suspicious. The problem with this is A) you can’t see half of your skin’s surface and B) GPs are not the best suited to diagnosing skin cancers. You need a trained dermatologist to recognise any abnormalities. This can be performed expertly at our skin cancer clinic, with our expert Melbourne dermatologists.
To check your own skin, you need to be invested in tracking, and have a skin cancer checking partner who can check the parts of you that you can’t see. You need to look for new moles, check old moles for changes, and know what you are looking for in terms of changes to shape, size or colour.
Skin cancer clinic checks at our Melbourne clinic
Getting a skin cancer check at our Melbourne skin cancer clinic is smart and proactive, so get a referral and come in for comprehensive skin cancer checks annually with expert skin cancer dermatologists and state-of-the-art equipment that only dermatologists have.