Be someone's hero: encourage them to get a skin check. It could save their life.
Did someone encourage you to get a skin check and thereby saved your life? Did you spot an unusual mole on someone’s body and urged them to see a doctor? Did someone inform you that you were at high risk of skin cancer when you weren't aware? We would love to learn more about your skin cancer story and “your hero”.
Despite skin cancer being the easiest type of cancer to treat if detected early, every six hours an Australian still dies from melanoma. There is one simple thing you can do for someone you care about: encourage them to get a skin check. It could save their life.
Send us your story along with a photo, or record a video describing your journey. Your words have the power to make a difference and save someone's life.
My hero is the doctor who acted so quickly to save my life 37 years ago.
I went to a doctor to have an itchy rash on my face looked at. He asked if I was itchy anywhere else and I pointed out a mole behind my ear, hidden in my hair. He took one look at it, asked me to wait and left the room. When he came back in, he said "I have made an appointment with a specialist to have that looked at. Can you go right now?"
I drove straight to the specialist who saw me immediately, even though he had a room full of patients waiting. The same thing happened again: he left the room, came back in and said, "I have scheduled some time tomorrow in an operating theatre. Can you check into hospital this afternoon?"
I knew nothing at the the time about melanoma. He explained a little bit and said it was important to get onto it straight away. I still had no idea of the severity or significance of the situation. I spent five hours on the operating table while they removed a melanoma under my skin that was the size of the palm of my hand. The only indicator had been an itchy mole on the surface.
The surgeon stated afterwards that I shouldn't be here today and that if my melanoma had gone undiagnosed for another month or two, it would have been inoperable. So my hero is that doctor who acted so quickly.
- John Shields, Skin Cancer Survivor
My hero's name is Gizmo and he is a 10 year old very loving, devoted Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Two years ago I noticed Gizmo's behaviour change in regards to me. He would constantly follow me and sniff a particular mole on my leg. When I sat down with him, his nose would constantly go to the mole on my leg. One day I was walking to the clothes line and virtually almost tripped over him because he wouldn't leave my leg alone. This is when I made the decision to get the mole checked out.
My hero is Linda, the Practice Manager of the New Town Skin Cancer Centre! I am a professional window cleaner and whilst window cleaning at the facility she suggested that I should book in to have my skin checked.
As a window cleaner, I spend most of my work life outdoors which puts me in the high risk group of developing skin cancer. I was completely unaware of the melanoma growing on my arm.
My hero is the team at the cricket hub Cricket Southern Bayside (CSB). When they encouraged all members to get a skin check, I followed their advice and that potentially saved my life.
I had a suspicious spot on my forehead that I knew needed checking, but that wasn’t the end of it. Two spots on my face were biopsied and turned out to be basal cell carcinomas.
My hero is my mum. When I was 12 years old, Mum noticed an abnormal freckle on my right tricep. Even though my mum had been told by her dermatologist that children didn’t need a skin check until they turned 16, she booked an appointment with our local GP to get my freckle looked at. The doctor referred us to Coorparoo Skin Cancer Centre, where I was diagnosed with melanoma. Mum always knows best!
Regular full-body skin examinations are vital for catching cancers before they become serious. Skin exams take about 15 - 30 minutes, and the doctor will start by asking about your skin cancer risk factors and general health. You will need to undress to your underwear. If you wish, we can provide a blanket or gown for you to wear while the doctor inspects your body from head to toe, looking for abnormal moles or spots. We will not examine the genital area unless you have any spots in that region which particularly concern you.Read More
The doctor will closely examine any unusual spots using a dermatoscope. This close-up perspective helps us assess whether a mole is normal or abnormal. It is a completely painless process that has been proven to increase the rate of skin cancer detection. We may also photograph a few spots to monitor changes over time, as this can be indicative of skin cancer.Read More
If the doctor finds a suspicious spot that might be skin cancer, a sample of skin will be removed and sent to a pathology lab to be thoroughly examined under a microscope. This is called a biopsy, and it helps confirm whether the suspicious spot is cancerous. The most common biopsy techniques are shave and punch biopsies, which are both done under a local anaesthetic. A shave biopsy involves shaving off the top layer of skin with a small surgical blade, while a punch biopsy uses a tool like a tiny cookie cutter to remove all the layers of skin.Read More
As part of our comprehensive approach to diagnosing and managing skin cancer, we can take photographs of your entire skin surface or any suspicious lesions on your body. Changes in the size, shape or colour of a mole can be indicative of skin cancer, so digital imaging allows us to compare changes over time and leads to earlier detection of the disease. Digital imaging is the most reliable means of accurately tracking changes over time and producing potentially lifesaving results as the high-resolution images allow easy side-by-side comparison at follow-up appointments. Using the latest technology, we can detect skin cancer at its earliest stage when it is most manageable and requires least invasive treatment. As new or changing skin spots are the first indication of skin cancer, you can be assured that no melanoma goes unnoticed.Read More
The treatment you receive for skin cancer will depend on the type, size and location of the skin cancer, and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. We offer various surgical and non-surgical treatments, including excisions of the tumour and surrounding tissue to ensure all the cancerous cells are entirely removed, curettage which is the method of scraping and burning the skin cancer, cryotherapy which is the method of freezing off the skin cancer with liquid nitrogen, and topical applications of creams that stimulate the immune system and destroy skin cancer.Read More
We approach aesthetic medicine with the same level of respect and credibility as skin cancer medicine. We offer skin repair and rejuvenation treatments for anyone wishing to restore a natural, more youthful appearance to their skin. Our doctors have undergone formal training in this exciting medical field with the aim of providing your skin with a healthier and more refreshed look. Using the latest technologies including injections, light therapy and chemical peels, our doctors will accurately and safely address your medical and cosmetic skin concerns. Treatments can be used to combat signs of ageing, skin cancer, sun damage, acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions.Read More
Improve access to skin cancer care and reduce the mortality and morbidity of the disease.
Reduce the waiting time for patients to receive efficient diagnosis and treatment.
Provide vital skin cancer care to communities with limited or no access to specialists.
Offer a high-quality referral option to local GPs managing patients outside their scope.
Relieve the public hospital system as most patients cannot afford specialist care.
Save lives by dramatically reducing the delay in diagnosis and treatment.
Looking for the ultimate gift? Gift your loved ones a potentially life-saving skin check!
Two in three Australians will get skin cancer. That means we all know someone who might be at risk without even realising it. A professional skin exam from a specially trained doctor is the number one defence against the deadly disease, so what better gift could you give someone than a potentially life-saving skin check? Show your family, friends, colleagues or employees that you care, and help us make a difference in the fight against skin cancer.