As you would know, melanoma is a deadly skin cancer, and the fourth most common type of cancer in Australia. It has been attributed to take away five people every day, which is an alarming statistic. What is even more concerning is the fact that there are over 14,000 new cases of melanoma being diagnosed across Australia each year. In fact, Australia has the world’s highest rates of invasive melanoma.
Given that Australia gets a higher level of UV radiation on account of its location on the globe, it becomes essential to look at ways to prevent it before it strikes us. And early detection is one of the best ways to prevent it. Screening for melanoma can help us detect it at an early stage, and in some cases, even before it develops. This assumes a larger importance in Melbourne, as it has a rising number of melanoma cases.
Melanoma detection can be challenging – but there is good news too. New technology and drug research have led to a huge improvement in the accuracy of melanoma detection, and our skin cancer clinic in Melbourne uses some of the latest technologies in melanoma screening and treatment. Our experienced team of skin cancer doctors have been able to help many patients with early detection when the cancer is at its most treatable stage, thus saving a lot of heartburn for them and their loved ones.
How can you check for melanoma risk?
- Self Examination
Keep an eye out for any new moles, spots or freckles on your body, and visit your doctor for a check-up if you see any suspicious changes in your existing or new moles. Do not take this lightly, as early detection can be a life saver.
- Melanoma Screening at our Melbourne clinic
Visit a reputable and reliable skin cancer clinic for a mole-mapping. A full body mole mapping is a comprehensive exercise to spot and document all the moles on your body, and the changes they go through over a period of time. An experienced doctor will be able to track and evaluate each mole on the basis of multiple parameters like asymmetrical shapes, unusual borders, colour changes, increasing diameters, and changes in texture. For those with a higher number of moles, it is advised to do this a minimum of once in six months.
- Melanoma Risk Predictor online tool
Developed by the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, this is a simple online tool that is designed to predict a person’s likelihood of developing melanoma over the next three and a half years. While this is no substitute for a qualified doctor’s advice, it has actually led many Australians to get a melanoma screening on time, and prevent further spreading of the cancer.
Despite all these advancements, the best way to prevent is being sun-safe. Cover up when you’re out in the sun, use good sunscreen and stay in the shade to increase your chance at staying safe.
At Manningham Skin Cancer Clinic in Melbourne, we seek to help with detection of melanoma and other skin cancers at the earliest possible stage, so that we can administer effective treatment, and prevent unnecessary loss of life. We are always available for any questions or concerns about melanoma and other skin cancers. If you have a concern about any odd moles, and would like to come in for a melanoma detection, you could schedule a consultation with us by calling us on 03 8840 1410.