Bowral Skin Cancer Clinic FAQ

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Skin Cancer Clinic FAQ

To help answer some questions you may have about our new Skin Cancer Clinic, how it will operate and when you may need to book in for a visit, check out some of our most FAQs below.

If you canʼt find your answer here, please call us on 4861 3855. We are always happy to help!

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply and form malignant tumors if not removed quickly.

There are different types of skin cells, each with their own specific type of cancer. These are known as basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma.

What does skin cancer look like?

Each of the three main types of skin cancer can appear differently, though there are often similarities as well. One of the most common ways of recognising a skin cancer is in the appearance of a new skin mark, such as a mole. Similarly, changes in shape, size or colour to an existing mole is also a common sign of skin cancer.

Am I at risk of skin cancer?

We are all at risk of skin cancer, however living in the sunny climate that Australia is, it is especially important to get regular skin checks.

There are a few additional factors which could increase your risk level. Please consider regular check-ups if you spend a lot of time outdoors, if you have naturally fair skin, if you have a family history of skin cancer or if you are over 50 years of age.

What’s the difference between seeing a GP and a dermatologist for a skin check?

Whilst a regular GP can assess skin conditions, doctors at our Skin Cancer Clinic have extra qualifications and experience in this area and may have specialised equipment for a more thorough assessment.

A dermatologist specialises in many skin disorders, most often complex ones. A  referral may be required, their fees may be significantly higher and waiting times much longer. The doctors at our clinic focus solely on skin cancers.

Are doctors at the Skin Cancer Clinic specialist?

The doctors at our Skin Cancer Clinic have a special interest in skin cancer, meaning they have additional qualifications and experience in this area. These could be certificate and diploma level courses in dermatology and skin cancer as well as Masters level qualifications.

Should I conduct a self- check?

It is always a good idea to keep an eye on your own skin looking for moles. Keep note of the change over time, or if new moles appear. You may not be able to see the skin on your back and getting a doctor to have a look may be lifesaving.  If you notice anything unusual, make sure to book in for an appointment at our Skin Cancer Clinic as soon as you can, as many skin cancers can be prevented or caught early.

What happens during a skin cancer screening?

The majority of patients will have a comprehensive head to toe check, which is where the skin is examined with your underwear being left on. A more limited examination may be performed if desired by the patient (e.g. exposed areas only, upper half only, or even just a single spot). Privacy is respected at all times and patients may ask for a chaperone to be present if they wish.

The skin is examined with bright light and then dermoscopy is performed using a hand held dermatoscope. If need be, we can treat skin cancers and/or abnormal lesions on the spot, either by freezing (cryotherapy), biopsy or surgical excision. Our doctors will also provide advice on general skin care, skin cancer prevention and early detection.

How can I best prepare for the screening?

To facilitate a thorough examination, we ask for the removal of make-up and nail polish prior to the examination.

How long will the screening take?

Our skin cancer screening is thorough and may take between 20-30minutes depending on your risk factors and skin type.

How do I book an appointment?

If you would like to make an appointment, please call our friendly receptionists on 4861 3855 and specify that you would like to book for a Comprehensive Skin Cancer Screening.

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