A skin cancer check is a comprehensive assessment and examination of a patient for any evidence of skin cancer.
A skin check will include a process similar to what is outlined below.
A verbal consultation focused on your personal and family history including any information relating to previous issues with skin cancers, mole excisions, level of sun exposure and frequency of sunburn. (So, its a good idea for the patient to think about these areas before they arrive for the skin check).
The patient is normally asked whether they have any specific concerns and if so to point out which moles they would like to be considered in more detail. (So it is a good idea for the patient to have done a self examination before they turn up for the skin cancer check which may bring attention to moles which have the A-Asymmetric, B-Border irregularity, C-Colour, D-Diameter, E-Evolution characteristics).
The patient will be asked to remove their clothing in privacy, but to keep their underwear on. A gown or a sheet will be provided to cover parts of the body not being examined.
The doctor will then use a methodical approach to looking at each area of the body with particular attention to areas mostly exposed to the sun and the specific moles (if any) that have been specifically requested to be examined.
The patient will be sitting upwards to consider their hands, arms and face. They will be lying face down so that their back and back of your legs can be considered. They will then be asked to turn over for their chest, abdomen and legs to be examined.
The doctor should ask the patient if they have moles of particular concern on their scalp and or on areas of your body covered up by their underwear. These areas are only examined with the patients verbal consent.
If a suspicious mole is encountered, the doctor will discuss with the patient the benefits of removing the mole for a biopsy. A visual skin cancer check will identify potential issues but the patient will not know for certain that they have a skin cancer unless they have the mole removed for examination under a microscope by a pathologist.
It may take a number of days before the results of the biopsy become available. In the event that the biopsy reveals a skin cancer your doctor will discuss with you the next steps and possible treatments.
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The blog is for information purposes only, always consult with your medical professional.
Australia has one of the highest incidence rates of skin cancer in the World. By the age of 70, two in every three Australians are expected to have encountered issues with melanoma and non-melanoma related skin cancer.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has reported that 780,000 skin cancers were diagnosed and treated in 2010 alone. The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, estimate that around 14,000 Australians were diagnosed with Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer in 2017.
When watching a golf event it's noticeable how many professional golfers wear arm sleeves or sun sleeves. You may wonder, why do they wear them?
In our latest blog, we discuss how Adam Scott and Rory Sabattini have been affected by skin cancer and the attitude shared by Rory Mcilroy in regards to sunburn and sun protection.