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
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.
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.
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
Becomes mottled in colour
Has a persistent itch