All of us looked at a mole and wondered, “when did you appear?”
We also have those old faithful friends that have been around forever.
But sometimes we lose track of what they’re doing, and you might catch yourself scratching a mole, or notice its started to get irritated.
Your partner, a friend or a stranger might say “hey that looks a little strange, maybe you should get that checked out”.
And while a lot of marks on our skin are benign, it can be reassuring to have them checked out, particularly if you’re at increased risk.
Knowing your Fitzpatrick skin type can help you make a decision, and its something your doctor might go through with you at your first skin check at GS Health. Use the calculator here. Once you know your skin type, refer to the handy table below to decide when to come in.
Yearly skin check (3 monthly self exam)
2-5 yearly skin checks (3-6 monthly self exam)
Once off skin check (and annual self check)
We start off by asking some questions about your personal skin history, and family history. So it might be worth having a chat with mum and dad, and your siblings to see if they’ve ever had skin cancer before.
Then we ask you to point out which skin spots you’re most worried about, we’ll of course pay attention to those.
If you are comfortable, we will ask you to undress to your underwear, and offer you some sheets to cover up any area you don’t feel comfortable with. We’ll then look area by area, often starting at the head and working our way down to the soles of the feet.
Anything suspicious gets looked at with a special tool called a dermatoscope, and we’ll take a photo of it for your file. If we find any suspicious lesions that may be cancerous, we will endeavour to biopsy them at this visit, or within the same week.
If nothing abnormal is seen on your skin, then we arrange for your next skin check based on your level of risk.
Any skin sample that is biopsied is sent to a laboratory where a dermatopathologist will look at it under the microscope and tell us what it is. Your doctor will chat to you before we know the final result about what they think it might be, and discuss treatment options such as excision, topical treatment, or other methods to remove it.
Once the result is back, your doctor or one of our registered nurses will call you to discuss results and arrange for an excision which we can perform on site for your convenience.
The doctors at GS Health that perform skin checks and excisions have all dedicated themselves to further training in skin cancer medicine and surgery. They also are experts in you as a whole patient, and not just the dots on your skin.
We understand that it can be a frightening and anxiety provoking time to have a skin examination, and we ensure you are kept informed and made comfortable every step of the way.
With certificates and diplomas accredited by Bond University, and the Skin Cancer College of Australasia, you can rest assured that you are being examined by a doctor dedicated to excellence in skin cancer medicine.