Detecting skin cancer early

If you are worried about a non-healing sore or a lump on your skin……

Skin cancer (melanoma) symptoms include the following:

  • 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 (especially those dark brown to black, red or blue-black in colour).

A melanoma is the uncontrolled growth of the pigment cells in the skin. It is a very serious type of skin cancer. The lifetime risk of an Australian developing a melanoma is about 10% for men and 6% for women, and this risk appears to be increasing each decade. Melanoma kills over 1500 Australians every year, and yet it is one of the most curable forms of cancer. The most effective method of treatment is diagnosis at an early stage of development, when the chance for cure by surgical removal is excellent.

THEY KEY TO EFFECTIVE TREATMENT: EARLY DETECTION

The SKINDOC 

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Hobart Place General Practice has acquired a state of the art SkinDoc.  The SkinDoc is the worldwide accepted clinical standard in digital epiluminescence microscopy and improves the chances of early diagnosis of skin cancer or melanoma. It has three significant advantages.

It enables the doctor to have a really good look…

The SkinDoc allows the doctor to look at suspicious moles and lesions under very high magnification (30x) with special light frequencies.  Because the images are at such high resolution and can be enlarged to fill the entire monitor screen, the doctor is able to look at the internal structure of the mole.  Microscopic changes that would go unnoticed by the naked eye can be detected.

It enables the doctor to compare changes in a mole or lesion over time….

The images are stored in the SkinDoc memory.  This means the doctor can compare an image of a mole taken today with one taken a month ago, three months ago, six months ago. Since the images are high resolution, the doctor can identify changes which though small might be a red flag. 

If you leave Canberra or go overseas you can take a flash disc of the images with you

This means that clinics with a SkinDoc anywhere in the world will have access to all the data on suspicious moles that has been collected at Hobart Place General Practice.

A word of caution: it is not always possible, on the basis of a single inspection, to conclusively determine that a particular lesion is a melanoma.  The odds of detection rise with a sequence of inspections over time since this highlights suspicious changes.

fees

30 Minute Full Body Skin Check

Fee             rebate        Cost to patient

$115.00              $72.80                 $42.20

 

Removal of suspicious moles or skin lesions

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When a suspicious mole or skin lesion is identified by a doctor who has undertaken training in dermatoscopy, the lesion can be removed by surgical excision, liquid nitrogen, electro-cautery or prescription creams. Alternatively, the doctor may decide to take a small piece of the affected area and send it to a laboratory for further analysis

 

 

 

 

Dr Shelly Gill

MBBS FRACGP MRCS MS(Surgery)

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Dr Gill can offer diagnosis and treatment of a variety of skin conditions. Dr Gill initially trained in surgery including general, thoracic and endocrine surgery. She gained experience in urology in England and subsequently in general surgery and skin cancer treatment in Queensland. She also worked for 6 years in emergency medicine at Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Dr Gill is a member of the Australian Institute of Dermatology . She has completed her training in dermoscopy from the Australasian College of Dermatologists.