At Riverina Skin Specialists the dermatologists have specialist training in the early detection and management of skin cancer. Skin cancer screening usually involves the dermatologist taking a thorough history to identify any lesions of concern and to establish the individual cancer risk of the patient. A thorough skin examination will then be performed with the aid of a dermascope.
You will be asked to undress down to your underwear. Your doctor will use good lighting and a magnifier to examine you from head to toe. A dermatoscope may be used to touch your skin which will more carefully assess an individual spot. Sometimes a photograph may be taken for monitoring.
You will be advised if any moles or spots need testing at the time of your skin check. A biopsy will sample an area, or an excision is a procedure that removes the entire lesion. These are both done under local anesthetic whilst you are awake and in the clinic. There is no need to be hospitalised for this. The lesion is sent to a pathologist who is a specialist doctor that will analyse the spot to provide a further diagnosis.
If skin cancer is identified early, it can be easily and successfully treated. Most cancers are treated with surgery but there are non-surgical treatments including creams, light therapy, laser and radiotherapy.
You will be advised and educated on how to self-examine seasonally, that is every three months. Prevention will be discussed including sun protection, sun safe behaviors, topical Vitamin A, oral Vitamin B3 and depending on your level of risk, your doctor may recommend a three, six or 12 month follow up.