What can I do? – Prevention and early detection
Good Sun protection practice
The old message about avoiding the sun, covering up with clothes and using high level sunscreen, hats and sunglasses still holds true. However, our experience is that many people can improve what they do to prevent skin cancers and may not be fully aware of the correct way to use sunscreen.
SCAN Your Skin. for new and changing moles and sores
You, your partner and your family will know better than anyone else if something on your skin is new or changing.
These are two important early warning signs.
1. Become familiar with your spots and moles
2. Check your skin regularly and get someone to check your back (or take a selfie with your phone)
Above all – don’t ignore any new or changing moles and sores.
Come in for us to perform a thorough skin check.
We endorse the Skin Cancer College Australasia and promote a simple but very effective mantra:
SCAN means look for a spot or mole that is…
Sore, scaly, itchy, bleeding, tender and doesn’t heal within six weeks.
Changing in appearance, size, shape or colour.
Abnormal: Looks different, feels different, or stands out when compared to others.
New: Most melanomas – and all other skin cancers – arise this way.
For more information go to: www.scanyourskin.org/how-to-check-for-skin-cancer/
This is video on how to check your own skin.
(This video is sourced from Leo Pharma but this is not an endorsement of their products).
Skin checks / Full skin examination
Most people in Queensland need full skin examination once every year or two, and some higher risk individuals need more frequent skin checks.
Having regular skin checks by a doctor experienced in dermoscopy improves the chances of detecting skin cancers and melanomas at an earlier stage. The earlier a skin cancer or melanoma is detected, the smaller the scar and the better chance of a cure.
Dermoscopy involves using a dermatoscope to examine suspicious lesions and look for clues to cancer or melanoma. Using a dermatoscope is painless, and greatly assists the doctor in deciding if a spot or mole is or is not of concern.
We understand having a skin check can be a daunting experience.
Patients keep their underwear on, and we use a sheet to cover you as much as possible.
See here for more details about what happens during a skin check