In our clinic, our experienced and qualified doctor will carry out the necessary examinations needed to diagnose any suspicious skin lesions. Following which the doctor will discuss with you the finding(s) and possible treatment(s) that we offer.
Like all good dermatologists and skin specialists in Australia, we use a dermascope to evaluate pigmented lesions. This allows us to distinguish malignant skin lesions, such as melanoma and pigmented basal cell carcinoma, from benign melanocytic naevi and seborrhoeic keratoses. We do not have fanciful computer scans or programs. Rather we rely on thorough examination with a dermatoscope and years of experience to diagnose our findings.
Skin cancer is one the most commonest form of cancers in Australia. While most skin cancers are found on the face, head, back and upper limbs, they can appear on any part of the body. The primary cause of skin cancer is UV radiation from the sun, but also from the tanning booths. Anyone can get skin cancer, especially if you have:
- Fair skin and freckles easily
- Light-coloured red hair and eyes
- A large number of moles
- Family history of skin cancer
- Previous history of blistering sunburn
- Spent a lot of time outdoors.
We do have Out of Pocket Fees associated with our Skin Cancer Services. Please refer to Our Fees page.
Types of Skin Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
It is the most common type of skin cancer by far, but also the least dangerous. It grows slowly and rarely spreads. Though BCC is seldom life-threatening, if left untreated it can grow deep beneath the skin and into the underlying tissue and bone, causing serious damage (particularly if it’s located near the eye).
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
It is the next most common kind of skin cancer, frequently appearing on the lips, face, or ears. It sometimes spreads to distant sites, including lymph nodes and internal organs. It can become life threatening if it’s not treated.
It is the least common, but the most dangerous type of skin cancer. If discovered early enough, it can be completely cured. If it’s not treated quickly, however, malignant melanoma may spread throughout the body and is often deadly.
Types of Surgery
Most skin cancers are removed surgically. Although no surgery is without scars, your doctor will make every effort to treat your skin cancer without dramatically changing your appearance. Most procedures performed in our clinic include:
This involves spraying liquid nitrogen onto the skin. The aim is to freeze and destroy the tissue.
Curettage and electrodesiccation (diathermy)
This involves scraping away skin tissue with a curette (a sharp surgical instrument), followed by cauterising the wound with an electrosurgical diathermy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Excision is made with a scalpel and the wound is usually stitched after.
A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of skin tissue is removed, processed, and examined under a microscope. Sometimes, different skin conditions can look similar to the naked eye so additional information is required. This is obtained by looking at the structure of the skin under the microscope after the cells have been stained with special coloured dyes.