Worried about your spots and moles? Wondering whether you’ve got a skin cancer? Did you know that 2 out of 3 Australians will be diagnosed with a skin cancer by the time they are 70? Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer, followed by squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma – which is the most dangerous skin cancer due to its propensity to grow quickly and spread to other parts of your body. A skin check is the best way to find and treat skin cancers early, before they cause disfigurement or spread.
A skin check starts with your doctor taking a medical history to get an understanding of your risk of skin cancers. You will then be asked to remove clothing, except for underwear. Your doctor will check your whole body from head to toe using a dermatoscope. Potential skin cancers or suspicious lesions requiring monitoring will be imaged using a camera attachement as shown below.
An example of a dermoscopic record is shown below. This was a very small (3mm in size), early melanoma that was detected on the patient’s left upper arm during a routine skin check.
- Skin cancer check (full) – this is a thorough skin check from head to toe. Any suspicious spots are recorded using Dermengine. Skin checks should be done every 1 to 2 years depending on your history.
- Skin cancer check (brief) – this is suitable if you have a few spots of concern that you would like assessed and imaged.
- Skin check with total body photography (mole map) – this is ideal for patients with a history of melanoma or dysplastic nevus syndrome. Mole mapping may be done every 2 to 5 years depending on your history. Skin checks should be done in between these periods.
- Standard consult – if you’ve been asked by the doctor to return for repeat cryotherapy, you can book a standard consult.
Can you “freeze” sun spots during the skin check?
Yes, cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen is used during the skin check, at no extra cost.
If there is enough time, punch or shave biopsies may be done during the skin check. Excisional biopsy of a suspected melanoma takes a lot longer, so these are booked on a separate day.
How much does a skin check cost?
- Skin check (full) = $120 (Medicare rebate is $75, gap cost is $45).
- Skin check (brief) = $85 (Medicare rebate is $39, gap is $46).
- Skin check and Mole map combined session = $270 (rebate $110, gap $160).
- Cryotherapy = no additional fee.
- Punch or shave biopsy = small gap.
- Excision of skin cancer = $120 gap.
- Cosmetic removal of non cancerous skin lesions = $180 gap.
How can I book a skin check?
- You can book online with Dr Andrew Thant or Dr Mae Tun. Alternatively, feel free to call us on 07 55388811.
How can I prepare for my skin check?
- Do not wear make up.
- Do not wear nail polish, otherwise a subungual melanoma can be missed.
- Do not wear spray tan.
- Please wear underwear.