Skin cancer is an almost totally preventable disease; 95 per cent of skin cancers are treatable if they are detected early. Regular checks of your skin should detect any suspicious lumps or spots as soon as they develop.
There are three main skin cancer types: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Melanoma. Although it is the least common of the three, Melanoma is by far the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
Unfortunately, here in Australia (and New Zealand) we have the highest rate of Melanoma skin cancer in the world. The outdoor lifestyle so many of us enjoy means we are more vulnerable to sun damage compared to the rest of the world.
Regular exposure to the sun can cause our skin to age prematurely, which leads to spots, wrinkles and dry textured skin. But the harmful rays of the sun can also lead to skin cancer. It is over exposure to the sun that is the number one cause of skin cancer in Australia.
However, the good news is that skin cancer, unlike many other types of cancers, is an almost totally preventable disease. And if detected early, 95% of skin cancers are treatable. Which is why it’s so important to not only be sun smart, but to undertake regular skin checks too. Doing so will help detect any suspicious spots or lumps as soon as they develop.
Skin cancer screening is a service we provide here at the WA Skin and Vein Clinic. Our highly trained doctors will carry out a full body examination using computerised dermoscopy and imaging technology, checking all moles and skin lesions. It is a painless and non-invasive way to accurately diagnose skin cancer.
By utilising the latest digital technology during skin and mole examinations, we can detect the presence of skin cancer very early on. We retain pictures taken during the consultation for comparison at a later stage for any changes in appearance.
During the full body examination, should any moles or skin lesions be found to require further investigation, under local anaesthetic the doctor will take a small sample (biopsy) or remove the abnormal spot or mole. This will then be sent away for further testing by a pathology laboratory.
Skin cancer can be treated successfully with minor surgery in the majority of cases. The type of treatment required will depend on the type of skin cancer detected.
To find out more about our skin cancer checks, please give the team at the WA Skin and Vein Clinic a call on 08 9203 6111.