Skin Cancer Clinic

The Most Effective Management For Skin Cancer Is Early Detection And Treatment.

Some Facts: Australia has one of the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world with up to 99% of skin cancers being caused by exposure to the sun. Although your risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer increases with age, it is important to note that melanoma is one of the most common life threatening cancers in the 15 to 44 year age group and the third most common life threatening cancer in both men and women overall. The most common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), can be cured if caught early and properly treated. When melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. So the sooner a skin cancer can be identified and treated, the more likely it can be cured.

Further information on Skin Cancer can be found at:

Dr Thomas Clarke conducts his Skin Cancer Clinics on Mondays and Wednesdays fortnightly.

Detail in brief about skin cancer

Answers to your most common questions!

  • Prevention
  • Self-checking
  • Patient Queries

Australia’s love of the outdoors means protection from the sun is vital in preventing skin cancer. The “Slip, Slop, Slap” campaign from the 80’s now adds “Seek and Slide” to the combination.

Slip on a top, covering as much skin as possible.

Slop on sunscreen, broad spectrum, water resistant SPF 30+.

Slap on a hat that protects your face, neck, ears and head.

Seek shade, and Slide on some sunglasses, making sure they meet Australian standards.

You know your skin better than anyone else so it is important to become familiar with any spots and moles and check your skin regularly for
any changes.
The Skin Cancer College of Australasia promotes a simple guide to help you check your skin and recognise the early signs of skin cancer.
Using the acronym SCAN, look for a spot or mole that is:
Sore – a spot which is sore (scaly, itchy, bleeding, tender) and doesn’t heal within 6 weeks.
Changing – in appearance (size, shape or colour)
Abnormal – looks different, feels different, or stands out when compared to others.
New – most melanomas and all other skin cancers arise this way.
If you do find a spot or mole of concern, see your GP or book in to our Skin Cancer Clinic for either a “spot check” or a full skin check.

How long does a skin check take?

At our Clinic a skin check can take up to 20 minutes, depending on your skin type and the number of spots and moles to be looked at. You will also be asked about your general health and previous sun exposure history.

Will I have to get undressed?

Yes, but only down to your underwear and a modesty sheet is provided.

What equipment does the Doctor use?

Our Skin Cancer Physicians and qualified GP’s use a dermatoscope to have a close up look at any spots of concern. A dermatoscope looks like a torch with a magnifying glass attached to the end and the procedure is painless.

What happens if the Doctor finds anything suspicious looking?

Your Doctor will tell you right away if they find any spots or moles that require testing. Under a local anaesthetic, your Doctor will either take a small biopsy or in some cases a complete excision of the spot or mole to send away to a pathology laboratory for testing. In most cases another appointment will be required to remove the abnormal spot or mole. Our Practice is equipped with a dedicated skin procedure room where this type of minor surgery can be carried out.

Receiving the test results can take from one to several days depending on the pathology provider.

What happens if a skin cancer is found?

In most cases, when detected early, skin cancer can be easily and successfully treated with surgery. Most skin cancers can be cured once they are removed. Other nonsurgical
treatments such as creams, radiotherapy, or light therapy may be used depending on the type of skin cancer found.

What happens after the skin check?

Depending on your level of risk for developing skin cancer, your Doctor may recommend regular followup skin checks. The frequency for followup skin checks can vary from every few months, to once every year or two. Our Practice has a recall/reminder system in place where we will contact you via SMS, phone or mail for your followup appointment. We do recommended that you also keep your own record of when the followup skin check is due and ensure that your details are always up to date on our Practice records.

Hope Island General Practice is dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers. We offer convenient and cost effective access to advanced knowledge, diagnostic techniques, and treatments.

It is you though, who is most familiar with your own skin, so remember to SCAN thoroughly and regularly. It’s an easy habit to get into and one that could save your life.

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