Be someone's hero: encourage them to get a skin check. It could save their life.
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.
I explained to my GP what was going on and he laughed and said it didn't look to be anything serious but he would do a biopsy to be on the safe side. Within a couple of days he called me to say it was a stage 1 melanoma and would need a rather large incision to remove. Given my doctors surprise that this was actually a melanoma I decided to get a mole map done by the New Town Skin Centre.
They have since found another stage 1 melanoma which has also now been removed. So I can thank my lucky stars that I have this beautiful boy with a well calibrated nose for his owner. He has always been protective of me and I am so grateful to all involved. I now get checked every 6 months but I can feel reassured my dog will sniff it out first.
- Michele Smith, Skin Cancer Survivor, New Town
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
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
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.