How often should you get checked for skin cancer in Melbourne?

The Cancer Council of Australia estimates that 2 out of every 3 Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they turn 70. That amounts to almost 67 percent of our population. We know that skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancers, and it occurs due to over-exposure to UV radiation.

Many Melbournians enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. However, combined with higher levels of UV radiation, a large number of new patients are diagnosed with skin cancer every month. While more patients are aware of their skin concerns during summer months, skin cancer can develop in any month, and this is why it is important to check for signs of skin cancer regularly. You can always refer to our blog post on checking early signs of skin cancer to know more about the warning signs.

Self-checking is an efficient way to keep an eye out for this, as you will be able to spot any new or changing moles which you can get checked at our specialist skin cancer clinic in Templestowe, a a short distance from Blackburn. With regular practice, a thorough self-check can take around 15 – 20 minutes. Be sure to undress completely and check yourself in front of a full-length mirror in a well lit room. Do also check those areas of the skin which do not receive direct sun exposure, as skin cancer can show up even on the soles of the feet or under the nails. You could always ask a family member or your partner to help you do a thorough check.

The ABCDE parameters check is a helpful tool in figuring whether a mole is harmless or cancerous. You can read more about this, in this blog post. Apart from this, you could also look for the EFG filters which can improve detection of nodular melanoma which can be missed out by the ABCDE filters. This will help you to check if:

  • E: Moles are elevated over skin
  • F: They are firm to touch
  • G: They have been growing for over a month

With early detection of skin cancer, the chances of recovery and survival are very good. If you happen to spot any of these signs, it is recommended that you get your moles checked at a specialized clinic.

The Manningham Skin Cancer Clinic offers a comprehensive skin cancer screening, using the latest technology available today.  Our doctors use digital dermoscopy, which photographs moles and other skin lesions and records these on a map of your body. This is then duly analysed for any inconsistencies or warning signs by our experienced doctors, against previous photographs. The entire screening process can take anywhere between 15-20 minutes, and is strongly recommended for those with lighter skin complexion and those who spend a lot of time outdoors. This type of screening helps to identify skin lesions that need a biopsy or other treatments.

We recommend that you do a full skin examination on a regular basis, which entails us storing your images in our medical records, for the purpose of diagnosis and regular monitoring. For those who do get diagnosed with skin cancer, we also perform surgery to remove the cancer, in our special procedure room at our clinic. We have patients coming in from Templestowe, as well as from nearby areas like BlackburnRoad and King Street.

As doctors who have seen many cases of skin cancer being detected too late, we strongly advocate that prevention is better than cure. An annual skin cancer check could save your life.