Why do I need a professional skin check?
Pictured: Dr Zahid Haider – DPV Health Broadmeadows Medical Centre Skin Clinic
As we approach summer and consider visiting the beach or spending extended time outdoors it’s important to beware of the sun’s damage on your skin.
Australians have one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world. In fact, nearly two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they’re 70*.
According to Melanoma Institute Australia, melanomas that are detected and treated early are cured in 90%** of cases. So, in addition to self-checking regularly you should have a professional skin check once a year. It is also important to get a professional skin check by a doctor if anything suspicious appears, in addition to having your annual skin check.
Why do Australians have such high rates of skin cancer?
While the theory of an ozone hole (thin ozone layer allowing strong UV rays to reach the earth) is often to blame, the true culprit seems to be simpler.
Most Australians have fair skin in a part of the world with very strong sunlight. Melanoma rates are far lower in people with pigmented skin, such as Aboriginal people, who are native to the environment.
What to look for
There are three main types of skin cancer: melanoma (including nodular melanoma), basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Basal cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
ABCDE melanoma detection guide
- A is for Asymmetry – Look for spots that lack symmetry. That is, if a line was drawn through the middle, the two sides would not match up.
- B is for Border – A spot with a spreading or irregular edge (notched).
- C is for Colour – Blotchy spots with a number of colours such as black, blue, red, white and/or grey.
- D is for Diameter – Look for spots that are getting bigger.
- E is for Evolving – Spots that are changing and growing.
These are some changes to look out for when checking your skin for signs of any cancer:
- New moles.
- Moles that increases in size.
- An outline of a mole that becomes notched.
- A spot that changes colour from brown to black or is varied.
- A spot that becomes raised or develops a lump within it.
- The surface of a mole becoming rough, scaly or ulcerated.
- Moles that itch or tingle.
- Moles that bleed or weep.
- Spots that look different from the others.
DPV Health’s New Skin Clinic
DPV Health are excited to launch the new Skin Clinic at Broadmeadows Medical Centre at Broadmeadows. The clinic is serviced by Dr Zahid Haider who is specialised in the assessment and management of skin cancer.
Treatments available at the Skin Clinic include:
- Skin Checks
- Biopsy (removal of skin lesions)
- Ingrown Toenail Treatment
- Graft & Flaps
- Iron Infusion
- Mirena / IUD Insertion
- Implanon Insertion / Removal
- Excisions of skin lesions including Skin Tag removal
To make an appointment call 1300 234 263 (select option 1 for Medical followed by option 1 for Broadmeadows Medical Centre)
Photos courtesy of Prof John Kelly FACD and the Australasian College of Dermatologists.
What to look for Source: Cancer Council
** Source: Melanoma Institute Australia