Skin Cancer Management
Dr Shirley Clark and Dr Elizabeth Turtle have extra training and expertise in the diagnosis and management of skin cancers.
Skin Cancer Check
Skin cancers can develop at any age. Two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with a skin cancer by the time they are 70 years of age. The earlier a skin cancer is detected and treated, the better the chance of avoiding surgery and spread of the cancer.
A skin cancer check is simple and quick. To check your skin we use a Dermatoscope. This device magnifies the skin ten times allowing us to look through skin structures to more readily diagnose skin cancers.
We recommend that people at increased risk of skin cancer have an annual skin cancer check. This includes patients with a family history or past history of a skin cancer and people who have a history of increased sun exposure.
Skin Cancer Biopsy
Any areas of concern during the skin cancer check will be biopsied under local anaesthetic to confirm a diagnosis and help plan future treatment.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Skin cancers can sometimes be managed by topical treatments or can be removed surgically. The types of treatment available to you and the costs involved will be discussed at the time of the consult.
Types of skin cancer
Basal Cell Cancer is the most common but least dangerous form of skin cancer. It grows slowly, usually on the head, neck and upper torso. It may appear as a lump or dry, scaly area. It can be red, pale or pearly in colour. As it grows, it may ulcerate or appear like a sore that does not heal properly. The earlier BCC is detected, the easier it is to treat.
Squamous Cell Cancer is not as dangerous as melanoma but may spread to other parts of the body if not treated. It grows over some months and appears on skin most often exposed to the sun. It can be a thickened, red, scaly spot that may bleed easily, crust or ulcerate.
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. It is usually flat with an uneven smudgy outline. It may be blotchy and more than one colour – brown, black, blue, red or grey.
Protect yourself from Skin cancers
Stay out of the sun between 10 am and 3 pm
When out in the sun:
Slip on some clothing
Slop on some sunscreen
Slap on a hat
Slide on your sunglasses
Seek out some shade