Rapid Access Skin Cancer Clinic

Our Skin Cancer Clinic Rapid Access Service provides timely and efficient diagnosis and treatment for skin cancer concerns. With expedited appointments and expert care, we prioritise early detection and effective management for optimal patient outcomes.

Referrals Are Not Required

Group 216

Dermatologist-Led Practice

Frame 17
Mask group

100,000+ Consultations & Treatments

Why Melbourne Skin & Dermatology for your Skin Checks?

Your Safety and Comfort First

We prioritise your safety and comfort throughout every step of your care, ensuring a positive and reassuring experience.

Dermatologist-Led Practice

Complicated scenarios and uncertainties are addressed with our senior dermatologists to ensure the highest level of expertise and care.

Minimising Unnecessary Procedures

We minimise unnecessary biopsies and procedures, reducing costs, scars, and unnecessary medical interventions while ensuring thorough assessments.

Extensive Experience

With over 100,000 consultations and treatments undertaken in our clinic, our extensive experience ensures high-quality and reliable care.

Multidisciplinary Care

Our team comprises of skin doctors, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons, with access to other subspecialties such as radiation oncologists and Mohs surgeons offering comprehensive care.

State-of-the-Art Equipment

Our clinic uses the latest technology and equipment to provide accurate and effective diagnosis and treatment.

What’s Involved in a Skin Check?

A skin check is a comprehensive examination performed by a trained doctor or dermatologist to identify any abnormal skin changes or growths.

What’s Involved in a Skin Check?

A skin check is a comprehensive examination performed by a trained doctor or dermatologist to identify any abnormal skin changes or growths.

1. Initial Consultation

During the initial consultation, the doctor will discuss your medical history, including any past skin issues or family history of skin cancer. This information helps assess your risk factors and tailor the examination accordingly.

2. Full-Body Examination

The doctor will perform a thorough full-body skin exam, including less exposed areas like the scalp, between toes, and under nails. A dermatoscope is used for a closer look at suspicious spots.

3. Documentation

High-definition photos of suspicious moles or lesions help track changes over time, documenting size, shape, color, and location for future visits.

4. Patient Preparation

Female patients change into a gown, keeping their bra and underwear on, while male patients leave their underwear on. The doctor systematically examines the skin and may perform immediate biopsies on suspicious spots. Patients can highlight specific concerns.

5. Subsequent Procedures

Any suspicious lesions may be biopsied or treated on the same day.  Subsequent procedures are arranged as needed. If biopsies are taken, you will be sent home with appropriate dressings and clear post-care instructions.

Introduction to Skin Cancer and Its Types

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, resulting from the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It primarily occurs due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. There are several types of skin cancer, each with unique characteristics, subtypes, and treatment protocols.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

  • Subtypes – Nodular, superficial, morpheaform, and pigmented BCC.
  • Grading and Treatment – BCCs are graded based on their depth and invasiveness. Most BCCs are treated with surgical excision, Mohs surgery, or topical treatments for superficial types.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

  • Subtypes – Keratoacanthoma, Bowen’s disease, and invasive SCC.
  • Grading and Treatment – SCCs are graded primarily based on their differentiation (well, moderately, poorly differentiated). Treatments include surgical excision, Mohs surgery, radiation therapy, and topical treatments for in situ SCC.

Melanoma

  • Subtypes – Superficial spreading melanoma, nodular melanoma, lentigo maligna melanoma, and acral lentiginous melanoma.
  • Grading and Treatment – Melanomas are graded using the Breslow thickness and Clark level. Treatment typically involves wide local excision, sentinel lymph node biopsy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy for advanced stages.

Rare Types of Skin Cancer

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

  • Subtypes – Not specifically subtyped, but often aggressive.
  • Grading and Treatment – Treated with wide local excision, radiation therapy, and sometimes chemotherapy.

Kaposi Sarcoma

  • Subtypes – Classic, endemic, iatrogenic, and AIDS-related.
  • Grading and Treatment – Treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and antiretroviral therapy where necessary.

Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP)

  • Subtypes – Bednar tumour (pigmented DFSP).
  • Grading and Treatment – Treated with Mohs surgery or wide local excision due to its tendency to recur.

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of skin cancer significantly increases the chances of successful treatment and can prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. Regular skin checks and prompt medical attention for suspicious skin changes are essential. In Australia, where skin cancer rates are among the highest in the world, early detection plays a vital role in managing the disease.

Evidence Supporting Skin Cancer Screenings

Australia’s sunny climate contributes to higher UV exposure, making skin cancer screenings crucial. Studies show that regular skin checks can detect skin cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage [1]. The Australian Government’s Cancer Council highlights that individuals who undergo routine screenings have better outcomes and lower mortality rates from skin cancer [2].

Types of Biopsies That May Be Required

Shave Biopsy

A shave biopsy involves using a small blade to remove the top layers of skin. This method is typically used for lesions that are suspected to be shallow.

Punch Biopsy

A punch biopsy uses a circular tool to remove a small core of skin, including deeper layers. This method is ideal for examining deeper skin lesions.

Excisional Biopsy

An excisional biopsy involves removing the entire lesion along with a narrow margin of healthy skin. This method is often used for larger or deeper lesions and provides a more comprehensive sample for diagnosis.

Surgical Treatments

1. Excision – The cancerous tissue, along with a safety margin of healthy skin, is surgically removed. This is a common treatment for most skin cancers.

2. Mohs Surgery – A specialised technique performed externally where thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains. It is highly effective for treating BCCs and SCCs.

3. Curettage and Electrodessication – The cancerous tissue is scraped away, and the area is treated with an electric needle to destroy any remaining cancer cells. This method is suitable for superficial BCCs and SCCs (Bowen’s).

Non-Surgical Treatments

1. Cryotherapy – The cancerous tissue is frozen using liquid nitrogen, causing it to die and eventually fall off. This treatment is typically used for small, superficial skin cancers.

2. Topical Treatments – Creams or gels containing cancer-fighting medications are applied directly to the skin. These treatments are suitable for certain types of BCCs and SCCs.

3. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) – A photosensitising agent is applied to the skin, and the area is exposed to a specific wavelength of light, activating the agent to destroy cancer cells. This treatment is effective for superficial skin cancers.

4. Radiation Therapy – High-energy rays are used to target and destroy cancer cells. This method is often used for cancers in areas that are difficult to treat surgically or where surgery is contraindicated. This is a treatment requiring a referral to an external specialist.

5. Systemic Treatments – Advanced skin cancers may require systemic treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy administered by oncologists. These treatments help manage cancer that has spread beyond the skin.

Skin cancer is a significant health concern, especially in sun-drenched regions like Australia. Early detection through regular skin checks and prompt treatment can dramatically improve outcomes. Understanding the different types of skin cancer, what to expect during a skin check, and the available treatment options empowers you to take proactive steps in managing your skin health. If you notice any suspicious changes in your skin, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice. Regular skin checks, including documentation and photographs for monitoring, are your best defence against skin cancer.

Frequently asked questions

Early signs include new growths, changes in existing moles, or any skin lesion that doesn’t heal. Look for asymmetry, irregular borders, colour changes, large diameter, and evolving shape or size.

It’s recommended to have a skin check annually, especially if you have a history of skin cancer or other risk factors. However, if you notice any suspicious changes, seek medical advice immediately.

Yes, when detected early, most skin cancers can be treated successfully. The prognosis is generally very good for early-stage skin cancers.

No, a skin check is a non-invasive procedure and typically not painful. If a biopsy is needed, local anaesthesia is used to minimise discomfort.

Protective measures include wearing sunscreen with high SPF, avoiding peak sun hours, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding tanning beds. Regular skin checks are also crucial.

If a biopsy confirms skin cancer, your doctor will discuss the appropriate treatment options based on the type and stage of cancer.

See what our patients have to say

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Extremely friendly and efficient staff, great office and didn't have to wait long to be seen.
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Very happy with my experience at this clinic. Excellent service with friendly staff and informative consultation
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Really professional clinic with great staff who were super friendly, helpful and patient with explaining any procedures I required. Thanks
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Meticulous professional care in a friendly and supportive environment. Highly recommended.
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I have been to the clinic a couple of times now and I highly recommend. The reception staff are always friendly and welcoming, Fantastic in regards to the laser procedure, very informative and helpful, overall, always a great experience. I have tried other clinics in the past but haven't found one that compares to Melbourne Skin & Dermatology, hence why I continue to return.
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I have been going to Melbourne Skin & Dermatology for about 2yrs now. They are always very professional and helpful. It is a very easy place to get to and the parking is great.
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Very happy! Easy, helpful and very friendly!
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Amazing smooth experience. All the staff were amazing, helpful, and professional. Treatment process was quick and easy. Highly recommend Melbourne Skin & Dermatology in Rowville.
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Listened and accommodated to my skin issues, made me feel comfortable and staff were extremely friendly and comforting.
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