A 15 minute skin cancer check can save your life!
- Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians (15–39 year olds) making up 20% of all their cancer cases.*
- Melanoma kills more young Australians (20-39 year olds) than any other single cancer.*
- One person every six hours will die from melanoma in Australia.*
Dr. Cong Nguyen can help you with skin cancer checks at QV Medical Centre.
He has a special interest in skin cancer and has undertaken additional training in skin cancer medicine.
Why should I have a skin cancer check?
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia. It is estimated that 2 in 3 Australians will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime.
While most of these cancers will be of slow-growing variety (e.g. basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), there will be a significant number of people diagnosed with the most deadly form of skin cancer – melanoma.
So what is skin cancer?
To be super brief, there are three types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are both classed as non-melanoma cancers. These skin cancers are more common in men.
- Melanoma skin cancer is the third most common cancer in women, fourth in men, and the most common cancer in young people. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma, can look like these photos.
What can I do to reduce my risk of getting skin cancer?
- Avoid sunburn. The sun is awesome; we need vitamin D to maintain our body’s systemic health, however we need to be smart. Slip, slop, slap; slide on your sunnies, and seek shade if you find yourself longer than a few short minutes in the sun.
If you can avoid sun damage, then you can prevent 95% of melanomas forming on your skin, and if untreated, progressing to your lungs, brain, heart and bones.
What is the single most important thing I can do?
Get a regular skin cancer check!
Melanoma looks like a mole, though unlike a mole, melanoma will usually grow larger and more irregular in shape and colour.
Checking your skin for Melanoma is peace of mind, and this is priceless.
What is involved in a skin cancer check?
Your doctor will first take your medical history in order to establish your risk of skin cancer. You should also advise your doctor if there are any specific moles or lesions you are worried about.
The doctor will then perform a full body skin check using a special magnifying tool, called a dermoscope. For this procedure you will be asked to undress to your underwear (privacy screens and gowns are available).
If you have any specific concerns about moles in your genital area (also breast area for women), please advise your doctor to examine those as well.
Alternatively, you can ask your doctor to examine only specific moles you are worried about, although full skin checks are recommended, so no suspicious moles are missed.
It is recommended that no make-up or nail polish are applied before the skin checks – melanoma can occasionally grow under the nails!
Skin checks usually take 10 -15 minutes. Following the completion of examination, your doctor will discuss your findings and possible treatments and follow up.
Finally, your doctor will advise you on skin cancer prevention measures you could take to reduce your chance of developing skin cancer.
Is it expensive to have a skin check?
A quick check costs you $90*, and the Medicare rebate returns just shy of half the cost.
If you need a few areas of your skin checked, it will cost you $124.65*, and the rebate is even more generous, returning to you almost $72*.
Do you require a biopsy for suspect moles?
QV Medical performs biopsies for around $95.00* and Medicare will return more than half of this back to you!
Skin cancer checks are one of QV Medical’s specialties. Using state of the art technology and up-to-date technologies, we ensure that your results are returned to you fast and accurately.
ENQUIRE TODAY on (03) 9662 2256 or BOOK ONLINE (skin checks with Dr Cong Nguyen).
*Prices in this article are subject to change. Please check with Medicare and on our pricing page for more up to date information.
*Melanoma Institute of Australia, https://www.melanoma.org.au/understanding-melanoma/melanoma-facts-and-statistics/