Skin Check Adelaide & Mole Checks
A skin cancer check is performed by a doctor which has specialised training in detecting and treating skin cancer. Doctors often use a special tool called a dermatoscope which can view the skin more thoroughly than the naked eye alone. If any suspicious moles or lesions are seen with the dermatoscope, images can be recorded.
Dr Targett offers skin cancer screening to her clients at her skin cancer clinic based in North Adelaide. She is also able to offer skin cancer treatment in the event of a melanoma being detected.
Quick & Easy Skin Checks
Skin Cancer Screening is a fast and easy process which should not take more than thirty minutes to perform.
Skin Checks give you Peace of Mind
Having regular skin cancer checks performed can give you and your family peace of mind, knowing that you are fit and healthy.
Early Detection Saves Lives
Having regular skin checks is vital. Early detection of skin cancer saves lives and produces the most favourable outcomes. When skin cancers are detected early, they are usually very small and have not had the chance to spread. This means they can be treated more easily, faster and more effectively.
How it works
Have a full body skin checks to detect cancer early.
In Australia we have one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world. Skin cancer does not discriminate; it can affect you no matter what your age.
To highlight this, here are some interesting facts;
- Over 60% of Australians will receive a skin cancer diagnosis before reaching the age of 70.
- Each year over 2000 Australians will die of skin cancer.
- There are more than 2500 skin cancer treatments performed every day in Australia.
A full body skin cancer check means that the doctor will examine your entire body using a dermatoscope from head to toe. The objective of this screening is to examine all moles and freckles that may be cancerous or precancerous. It is much easier to treat skin cancer in the early stages before it has had a chance to spread or even metastasize to other organs of the body.
For a thorough skin cancer check in Adelaide, make an appointment to see Dr Targett at her skin cancer clinic.For a small fee and small investment of your time, it may just save your life.
Signs and symptoms of skin cancer that you should be looking for.
Due to Australian love for the outdoor life in the sun and our long hot summers in Australia, it is essential for you to know the signs and symptoms of skin cancer. Basically there are three types of skin caner; melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma is considered to be the most deadly form of skin cancer.
Early detection of skin cancer relies on you performing a self examination of your skin from head to toe. On a regular basis you must examine all moles and raised skin lesions on your body. Especially look for any change in shape, size or colour over a short time period. Even if your moles have not changed it is always a good idea to have regular checkups by your doctor. It is very easy to miss moles that can't be seen on your scalp or on your back.
Regular skin checks for you peace of mind.
Most people understand that if they find a suspicious mole that has changed recently, then they should go and have it checked. Sometimes, however we are not even aware of the existence of a mole in a hard to see location. Often patients come to our clinic because they are worried about the look of one of their moles, only to find out that it is nothing to be worried about. In other cases, people often are surprised to learn that the moles they were not worried about are in fact cancerous or precancerous. The moral of the story is that regular checkups by a specialised doctor or even your GP can potentially save your life.
What to expect when you come for skin cancer checkup.
- A normal skin cancer examination will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
- When you attend your appointment, please do not wear any makeup, fake tans or nail polish, as these may hide any suspicious spots from being seen.
- The doctor will ask you to undress down to your undergarments and then lye on an examination bed. The doctor will then examine your body from head to toe using a dermatoscope to examine any moles or skin lesions in detail. You may ask your doctor to examine your skin in other private parts of your body if you feel that is necessary.
- The doctor will take photographs of any suspicious moles and keep a record of their location. The images will be stored on computer and can be referred back to to see if there have been any changes.
Once the examination is complete, you may get dressed again. The doctor will discuss his finding with you. The doctor may wish to take a biopsy of a mole if they are concerned it looks abnormal. Often the doctor will ask you to return to keep an eye on any suspicious moles to see if they have changed over time. If a cancerous mole is confirmed by pathology testing the doctor will request another appointment with you to discuss the findings and what further actions are required. Sometimes if cancerous moles are very large in size or located on the face the doctor may wish to refer you to a plastic surgeon.
Skin Cancer Treatment.
In some cases, the skin lesion causing concern is benign and no further treatment is needed. In the event that BCC or SCC is diagnosed and skin cancer treatment is necessary, there are a number of possible avenues, depending on the type of skin spots found and their location. The most common treatment options include surgery, and curettage and cautery.
Surgery is a common and effective skin cancer treatment option. After applying a local anaesthetic, your GP or dermatologist surgically removes the skin cancer and a margin of normal-looking tissue surrounding it. The wound is then closed with stitches and the margin is checked by a pathologist to ensure that all the cancerous tissue was removed. Further surgery may be required if cancer cells are found in the margin.
Curettage and Cautery
Curettage and cautery is a skin cancer treatment used to treat BCC and is usually performed by a dermatologist. Your skin cancer specialist will give you a local anaesthetic before scooping out the cancer cells with a curette, which is a spoon-like surgical instrument designed for scraping tissue. Next comes the cautery; a low-level heat is applied to stop the bleeding while also killing off any remaining cancerous cells. This procedure leaves a small, white scar.
Dr Rahma Targett
Dr Rahma Targett is a General Practitioner(FRACGP), with a specialty in Cosmetic Medicine. She founded Advanced Cosmetic Medicine in 2016 and has since become well known as a trusted and in demand Cosmetic Physician in Adelaide. She has a Diploma in Dermoscopy and a Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine. Dr Targett is a leader in her field and regularly attends Cosmetic conferences to keep up to date with modern aesthetic techniques. At advanced Cosmetic Medicine you can always be reassured that you will be welcomed and treated personally by Dr Rahma Targett.
Do you have more question? Please contact usCONTACT US
When Should I See a Healthcare Professional To Have Mole Checks and Skin Checks?
Watch for any changes in any moles or skin marks on your body. And pay attention to new moles or skin marks that appear. If any of them fit the ABCDE’s or other signs of skin cancer, see your healthcare provider for mole checks /skin checks right away.
What are the different types of skin cancer?
There are basically three types of skin cancer which are named according to the skin cell type from which they originate. They are; basal cell carcinoma (from basal cells), squamous cell carcinoma (from squamous cells) and melanoma (from melanocytes). The most serious and dangerous type of skin cancer is melanoma due to its’ ability to metastasise throughout the body.
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is a skin cancer that begins in skin cells known as melanocytes. It is the melanocytes that give the skin a tanned appearance. It begins when normal melanocyte cells become cancerous. If melanoma is discovered early there is a very good chance that it can be cured. If not treated early, however, it can metastasise quickly to the lungs, liver, bones and brain. It spreads by “seeding” through the body’s blood vessels.
What are the risk factors for developing melanoma?
Melanomas form by having too much exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight). The greatest risk factor for developing a melanoma is too much exposure to the sun. The more time you spend in the sun the greater your risk of developing skin cancer. Cancers often take a very long time to develop. If possible it is best to reduce exposure to the sun for young children.
Other risk factors include;
- Severe sunburns, especially when young.
- Many moles on the body.
- Presence of atypical dysplastic moles.
- If you have had melanoma before or other types of skin cancer.
- If you have fair skin and red or blond hair.
- If you have a family history of melanoma.
Where do people get melanomas?
Melanomas can quite literally form on the skin in any part of the body.
It is interesting that the distribution of melanoma is different for men and women.
For men, melanomas usually form on the trunk between the shoulders and the hips. They also commonly get melanomas on the head and neck.
Women on the other hand mostly get melanomas on their legs.
Melanomas typically occur on areas of the body that get a lot of sun exposure. Perhaps the difference between men and women can be explained by this fact.
Sometimes, however, melanomas can occur in areas of the body that rarely get exposed to the sun. Areas such as the mouth, sinuses, soles of the feet. Melanomas may also grow under the nail beds of toes and fingers. Melanomas have also been known to form in the genital region, the eyes and in other organs.
Can I prevent melanoma?
There is no known way to prevent melanoma with certainty. The best way to avoid getting melanoma is to avoid the sun as much as possible. When venturing outdoors it is always a good idea to follow these tips;
- Use a broad spectrum SPF, 30 or higher.
- Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and reapply once every two hours.
- Seek shade between 10 am and 4 pm, this is when the sun is most intense.
- Wear sunglasses that have UV protection.
- When going out in the sun wear a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and long pants. Tightly woven cloth provides the best protection.
What are atypical moles or dysplastic nevi?
When a mole doesn’t appear the same as a typical mole it is often referred to as an atypical mole. These moles have a greater likelihood of developing into melanoma. When pathology is performed on these moles they are often called dysplastic nevi. Meaning the cells in the moles are abnormal but have not yet developed into cancer. People may have a few of these types of moles or may have several. Both you and your skincare specialist should keep a close eye on these types of moles.
Why is self examination of moles so important?
Self-examination is so important because it leads to early detection of skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation highly recommends self-examination of your skin from head to toe on a monthly basis. This results in any cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions being detected early. Most skin cancers can be treated successfully if found in the early stages. Without treatment skin cancer can be very deadly. It is very important to get to know your skin. This way you will know what looks normal and know when things start to change. Being proactive can save your life. Don’t rely on annual skin checks/mole checks from your doctor as the only means of detecting skin cancer.
How do I perform mole checks at home?
If you are in a high-risk category for getting skin cancer, then self-examination is very important. You should become familiar with the landscape of your skin, including freckles, moles, blemishes and other skin lesions. Should you notice any new moles or changes to your existing moles, you should have them checked by your skincare specialist as soon as possible.
The best time to perform a skin self-examination (mole checks/skin checks) is after you have had a bath or shower. The exam should be performed the same way every time you do it. Look for any changes as you proceed. Using this technique you will not miss any part of your body. For hard to see areas like your back or scalp, ask someone to help examine these areas.
Make sure the room is brightly lit and use a full-length mirror as well as a handheld mirror. This will help you see all over your body.
Routine for Mole Checks / Skin Checks;
- Check the front and back of your body using the mirror.
- Raise each arm and look at the side of your body
- Women should check underneath their breasts.
- Look at the front and back of your legs
- Look between the buttocks and also the genital area.
- Check the back and front of your hands and forearms. (don’t forget between the fingers and under the fingernails)
- Examine your feet in the same manner as your hands.
- Examine your face, neck and scalp. (Usually easier with dry hair)
How often should I get my moles checked by a doctor?
Skin examination by your specialist doctor is important for everyone and should be performed once a year. Speak to your skincare doctor about how often you need to have mole checks/skin checks. You may need to have skin checks/mole checks more often if you are in a high-risk category for developing skin cancer. You will have an increased risk if you have a family history of skin cancer if you have had skin cancer before or have a weak immune system.
What should I look for when examining my moles?
Moles are mostly harmless, but it is possible for them to develop into a type of skin cancer known as malignant melanoma.
By learning the ABCDE of mole checks/skin checks, you can keep a close eye on your moles to see if there is any cause for concern. Rapid changes in the appearance and size of moles is a definite red flag.
Are raised moles dangerous?
Common moles can be raised or flat. Common moles rarely turn into melanoma. Common moles are not cancerous, but people that have 50 or more common moles have a greater chance of developing melanoma. Check your moles once a month using the ACBCDE of mole examination. Sudden increases in mole size and height need further investigation from your doctor.
Can melanoma kill you?
Early detection is imperative, this is why we strongly recommend self-examination of moles every month. If a melanoma is recognised and treated at an early stage it is nearly always curable. If however it is not detected early, there is the possibility that it may spread to other parts of the body. It then becomes hard to treat and may become fatal. Melanoma may not be the most common type of skin cancer but it is certainly the most fatal.
Can a bleeding mole be harmless?
A bleeding mole may be harmless but it can also be serious! A mole that bleeds is a sign that the mole may be a melanoma. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer that may spread throughout the body if left untreated.
Can a mole disappear by itself?
Over time moles can change and evolve. In some instances, it has been known for moles to fall off altogether. This is usually a gradual process. The evolution of a disappearing mole is that it starts as a flat spot which gradually becomes a raised spot. It then turns light and pale in colour before disappearing.
This process, however, rarely indicates cancer. However, if a mole does disappear very quickly it may indicate melanoma or other types of cancer. Please visit your doctor or dermatologist to have mole checks if this occurs to you.
Can a cancerous mole disappear?
When cancer begins to grow in the body, the body’s immune system responds by attacking cancer. A cancerous mole can be reduced in size by the immune system’s response to it. It has even been known for some moles to disappear altogether. The reduction in the size of melanomas is called regression and is known to occur in approximately 10 – 20 Percent of melanomas. fix
It is possible for this regression to completely cure cancer. Often, however, cancer metastasises to other parts of the body, resulting in a poor prognosis.
What is Actinic Keratosis?
Actinic Keratosis is a precancerous condition identified by patched of thick, crusty or scaly skin. These lesions form when the skin is exposed to UV light from the sun or tanning beds. The growths are more commonly seen in fair-skinned people. If these lesions are left untreated they may turn into a type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment of these lesions at an early stage is recommended.
There are several treatment options available depending on the extent of the lesions.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is recommended for the treatment of multiple AK lesions. This treatment involved applying a photosensitizer to the skin and then illuminating the skin under a strong light source.
- Topical creams may be applied to the lesions on a daily basis, but this usually requires treatments over a long period of time.
- Cryotherapy can be used for single lesions. Undesired hypopigmentation may occur at the treatment site. Cryotherapy kills the AK cells using liquid nitrogen.
It is important to have regular skin cancer screening checks to catch AK before it turns into skin cancer. If AK does turn into skin cancer, if caught early with close monitoring it can be cured.
How do you identify skin cancer?
You should become familiar with the “ABCDE” rule used to check for signs of melanoma. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer.
How do you diagnose skin cancer?
Your doctor will be able to diagnose skin cancer by;
- Examining your skin to look for any suspicious lesions or changes to your skin. You will be able to assist your doctor by highlighting any changes that you have noticed in your skin.
- Your doctor may remove a sample of suspicious skin known as a skin biopsy. This biopsy is sent to the lab for further testing by a pathologist.
What are the first signs of melanoma?
The first signs of melanoma may present as a sore that does not heal. There may be a spread of pigment from a mole into the surrounding skin. There may be redness or swelling that extends beyond the mole’s border. Other signs may include, pain, itchiness or tenderness.
What is stage one melanoma?
There is a numbering system used to define how advanced melanoma is. Stage one indicates that the melanoma is at a very early stage. The melanoma is still contained within the skin and there is no sign that it has spread to the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body.