Skin checks in Mornington: everything you need to know in 2019

Where can you get your moles checked?

There are a number of clinics in the Mornington Peninsula that offer skin cancer screening. At Beach End, we’ve just launched MoleMap Check at our handy location of Main Street, Mornington. 

It’s a skin cancer service that offers dermatologist diagnosis via total body photography, dermoscopic imaging and clinical imaging and teledermatology. 

Our team of highly trained independent dermatologists are experts at diagnosing early-stage melanoma - when it's most treatable.

How much does a skin cancer check cost?

MoleMap Check at our Main Street clinic costs $150. This includes a head to toe check with an advanced dermatoscopic lens by a trained melanographer. Moles are then diagnosed via telemedicine by an expert dermatologist. This means there’s much less risk of unnecessary biopsies (and additional associated costs) than when you see a GP. However, because MoleMap Check runs as part of our clinic, your follow-up care will be coordinated via your trusted GP.

Affordable mole checks now in the Mornington Peninsula

What’s my risk of skin cancer?

One person every five hours will die from melanoma in Australia. However, when detected early, most melanoma is treatable. Anyone is at risk and this only increases as you get older.

If you’ve ever had bad sunburn, used a sunbed or have a mole you’re worried about, MoleMap Check is for you. 

How can you prevent skin cancer?

  • Wear SPF30+ sunscreen or UV protection every day. Particularly if you work outdoors. 

  • Minimise your sun exposure, especially during the middle of the day or when UV levels are high. 

  • Seek shade

  • Wear a hat that covers the neck and ears 

  • Wear close-fitting sunglasses

  • Don’t use sunbeds or solariums

What are the different types of skin cancer?

There are three main types of skin cancer:

  • basal cell carcinoma

  • squamous cell carcinoma

  • melanoma - the most dangerous form of skin cancer

Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australia. 

We proudly offer Mornington Peninsula skin checks, diagnosed by a dermatologist,

What are early signs or symptoms of skin cancer?

The earlier skin cancer is detected, the less risk of surgery, disfigurement or even death. Becoming familiar with your own skin will help you pick up any new changes such as:

  • any crusty, non-healing sores

  • small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour

  • new spots, freckles or any moles changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months.

Melanoma often doesn’t have early symptoms. However, you should look out for these changes in an existing or new mole:

  • Colour - change of colour, different shades of colour or blotchy colour

  • Size - a mole may appear to get bigger

  • Shape - a mole may have an irregular border or may increase in height

  • Elevation - the mole may develop a raised area

  • Itching or bleeding

What causes skin cancer?

95% of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer, are caused by skin cell damage from UV exposure.

A ‘healthy tan’ is actually the opposite. Tanning only occurs when your skin has been exposed to enough UV to damage it. Sunburn causes even more damage to the skin.

There’s an increased risk of melanoma from people who’ve had:

  • unprotected sun exposure

  • a history of childhood tanning and sunburn

  • a pattern of short, intense periods of exposure to UV radiation

  • increased numbers of unusual moles (dysplastic naevi)

  • depressed immune systems

  • a family history of melanoma in a first degree relative

  • fair skin, a tendency to burn rather than tan, freckles, light eye colour, light or red hair colour

  • had a previous melanoma

*Statistic via (i) MoleMap Internal Audit. Benign to malignant ratio from a sample of 700 recommended excisions from 2010-2013. Sensitivity from documentation of reported missing melanomas, (ii) Youl, P. H et al, Diagnosing skin cancer in primary care: how do mainstream general practitioners compare with primary care skin cancer clinic doctors? Med J Aust 2007; 187 (4): 215-220. (iii). Carli P, et al. Improvement of Malignant/Benign Ratio in Excised Melanocytic Lesions in the ‘Dermoscopy Era’: A Retrospective Study 1997-2001. B J Derm 2004; 150: 687-692.

Anna Foster