Skin Cancer Checks

Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in Australia with about 700,000 cases of skin cancer being diagnosed in Australia each year. Skin Cancers form when skin cells are damaged by ultraviolet (UV) radiation penetrating the skin. Being sun smart is now part of every day life in Australia. Regular skin cancer checks will help to detect skin cancer at an earlier stage and we know that the early detection of skin cancer almost always means a successful cure.

Unlike many other types of cancer, skin cancer is often visible, making it easier to detect in the early stages. The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin over weeks to months. 

Each year 434,000 Australians are treated for skin cancer. 95% of skin cancers can be cured if caught early and the vast majority of cancers are first detected by patients themselves or friends/family. For this reason, as well as attending for regular skin checks, it is important to be on the look out for any concerning changes in your skin. Look for spots that have changed in any way, that are different from other spots on your body and for sores that don't heal.

Skin cancers can be divided into Melanoma and Non-Melanoma skin cancers. Melanoma are the least common but the most serious and left untreated may spread to other parts of the body. Non-melanoma skin cancers include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma are common and grow slowly over months to years damaging local tissue. Squamous cell carcinoma grow over months and a small percentage can spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma ABCD: 

  • Asymmetry - melanoma are often asymmetrical
  • Border - look for irregular borders
  • Colour - may have areas of different colours such as black/blue within the mole
  • Diameter - moles increasing in size, particularly >6mm


Prevention is better than cure so it is vitally important to protect your skin from the strong Western Australian sun so remember be SunSmart:

  • SLIP on protective clothing
  • SLOP on 30+ SPF sunscreen which meets Australians standards - 'AUST L' or 'AS/NZS 2604:98'.
  • SLAP on a hat
  • SEEK shade
  • SLIDE on some shades with an EPF of 10

Skin cancer screening

In addition to self-monitoring, Sunsmart recommend regular checks by your GP as being the best way to screen for early skin cancers. We have facilities for biopsy or excision of worrying lesions. This may be done on the day, but may require scheduling a further appointment. 

To book an appointment for a general skin check or to have a particular mole examined call us on  9247 2533.