Skin Cancer Clinic

Dr Lutie Van Den Berg | Dr Sheldon Browning | DR ROBERT CLIFFE | DR helen cleveland

Specialist doctors utilising the latest skin cancer diagnosis technology for mole and skin checks

Both our cancer clinic and doctor surgeries are open.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SmartScan will be temporarily changing the way we provide services to our patients. This is in line with recommendations from the Skin Cancer Society of Australia and other relevant healthy policy directives. Please be reassured that skin cancer clinics provide an essential service for the diagnosis, treatment and going care of patients affected by the most common cancer in Australia.

Skin Cancer Clinics are recommended not to undertake routine skin cancer screening of asymptomatic patients during this time. These appointments will be postponed until the pandemic is under control. These appointments can be safely delayed. Patients booked for important surgery and post-operative care will continue to be managed appropriately.

Scheduled skin checks for high rise patients will be continued. Your doctor will review all future booked appointments to determine your risk category.

Patients need to be vigilant and keep checking their own skin and should contact the clinic if they notice a new or changing skin lesion. The following skin changes need to be reviewed:

  • New or changing pigmented skin lesion (mole or unusual freckle)
  • New or changing skin lesions on the head or neck
  • Rapidly growing or symptomatic skin lesions anywhere on the body (tender, itchy or bleeding)
  • New or changing unusual skin lesions

Skin Cancer Clinics provide a low risk clinical environment because they see a low daily volume of patients who are well. Patients will be pre-screened and no unwell patients or any in self-isolation will be permitted to attend. All staff and the practice will be adhering to strict infection control and prevention protocols. Social distancing will be continued.

SmartScan will also be using telehealth consultations to assist in the triage and management of skin lesions of concern. Patients should contact the surgery to receive a time in which the Doctor will then ring them back for a phone consultation. Where possible, please email a digital photograph of the skin lesion or lesions you are concerned about prior to this consultation. Photographs need to be of high quality, in focus and with good lighting. Sunlight / natural light is best and use spot focus to obtain a clear image. Image files should be labelled with your name and the body site. You will be provided with an email address which is doctor specific. Do not send photographs without a confirmed telehealth appointment. Do not send photographs to our general email address.

Whilst COVID-19 is dominating our focus, it is important to remember that people will still develop other conditions, some of them potentially fatal if diagnosis is missed or delayed. SmartScaan remains committed to providing a quality service to our patients for the detection and management of skin cancer.

Smart Scan Mackay is conveniently located at 81 Philip Street, Mount Pleasant Plaza, Mackay. The suites are purpose-built and we use the latest state-of-the-art scanning equipment.

Dr Lutie van den Berg, Dr Sheldon Browning , both hold postgraduate skin cancer qualifications. They continue to study and assist in research in skin cancer medicine and surgery. Dr Van den Berg is also a member of the Skin Cancer College of Australia and New Zealand

At Smart Scan Mackay, we provide melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosis, surgery and management services. Full body skin examinations are available for all of our patients and a consultation includes a comprehensive history check, skin cancer risk determination and physician-performed dermoscopy examination. This may detect the presence of not only melanoma, but also non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.

We use the highest quality scanning equipment at the clinic including the Molemax computerised epiluminescent skin microscopy system, which allows scanning into the moles and skin lesions with 3 dimensional digital image analysis. This also allows us to photograph and record moles and other skin lesions for comparison over time.

Melanoma is the 3rd most common skin cancer in Australia, with some of the highest rates occurring within the Mackay region. Every year approximately 9,000 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma, with roughly 1,000 of these people dying as a result.

At our clinic alone, more than 985 melanomas have been successfully diagnosed and treated since 2011.

For non-melanoma skin cancers we employ the latest surgical and non-surgical treatments where indicated. Most importantly we educate and counsel our patients about the dangers of skin cancer and the importance of preventive measures.

No specific referral is required, however GP referrals are welcome.

EARLY DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT SAVES LIVES

About Skin Cancer

More than 1,700 people die from skin cancer every year in Australia. Yet skin cancer is preventable and the majority of skin cancers are treatable if detected early. Practice good prevention and regularly check your skin for suspicious lumps or spots.

Prevention—slip, slop, slap, seek, slide…SunSmart recommends 5 steps to protect against sun damage when the UV index is 3 or above:

  • Slip  on some sun-protective clothing—that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Slop  on SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30+ sunscreen—make sure it is broad spectrum (protects against UVA & UVB rays) & water resistant. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors & reapply every 2 hours. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
  • Slap  on a hat—that protects your face, head, neck & ears.
  • Seek  shade.
  • Slide  on some sunglasses—make sure they meet Australian Standard AS1067.

If you notice anything new or unusual on your skin, call for an appointment.

THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF SKIN CANCER

Basal cell carcinoma

This is the most common and least dangerous skin cancer. It appears as a lump or scaly area and can be red, pale or pearly in colour. It grows slowly—usually on the head, neck or upper torso—and can become ulcerated as it grows.

Squamous cell carcinoma

This cancer grows over a period of weeks or months and may spread to other parts of the body if not treated promptly. It occurs most often (but not only) on areas exposed to the sun. This can include the head, neck, hands and forearms. This cancer looks like thickened, red, scaly spots.

Melanoma

Some melanomas arise in normal skin and others arise in pigmented skin (moles). If a melanoma is not detected early it can be fatal. Most patients can be cured with minor surgery if melanoma is found early. There are 4 main types of melanoma: lentigo melanoma, superficial spreading melanoma, acral lentiginous melanoma and modular melanoma.

REGULAR CHECKS OF YOUR SKIN

  • Check your skin regularly, at least every three months.
  • Use a hand-held mirror to check the skin on your back & the back of your neck or ask someone else to look for you.
  • Don’t forget to check your armpits, inner legs, ears, eyelids, hands and feet.
  • Use a comb to move sections of hair aside and inspect your scalp.

DOCTORS

Dr Lutie Van den Berg
Dr Sheldon Browning
DR Robert Cliffe

A B C D E – WHAT TO LOOK FOR

A: Asymmetry (unevenness) – one half of the spot doesn’t match the other.
B: Border – the edges of the spot are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred.
C: Colour – the colour of the spot is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, red, white or blue.
D: Diameter – the spot is larger than 6mm across (about 1/4 inch) or is growing larger.
E: Evolution and/or elevation – the spot may change in shape or grow in size and a flat spot may become raised in a matter of a few weeks.
Also be aware of any mole or freckle that:

Changes over a period of months
Grows in size
Changes shape
Becomes mottled in colour
Has a persistent itch