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FAQ Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer Clinic
What is Your Age?
The older you are the greater the risk of a melanoma occurring. In Australia, melanoma is the most common cancer among those aged 15-59. However, please note that a melanoma can occur at any age.
What is Your Sex?
How much lifetime UV sun exposure have you had as part of your work, sport or leisure?
Your total cumulative (past and present) UV sun exposure is strong determinant of your melanoma risk.
Which of the above best describes your skin type?
The fairer your skin, the greater the risk of Skin cancer.
1. I always burn and never tan
2. I usually burn but can tan if I am careful
3. I usually tan but can burn if I am careless
4. I always tan and almost never burn
Have you ever had a Basal Cell Cancer or Squamous Cell Cancer?
Basal Cell Cancer or Squamous Cell Cancer are commoner types of skin cancer than Melanoma. However a previous history of these cancers indicates a higher risk for Melanoma Skin Cancer.
Have you ever had a Melanoma Skin Cancer?
A previous history of melanoma gives you a higher risk for another Melanoma Skin Cancer. Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of melanoma in the world. In Australia, 1 in 14 males and 1 in 22 females will develop invasive melanoma in their lifetime (to age 85).
How many naevi (moles) do you have on your body?
Naevi are dark brown or black spots or moles. They can be raised or flat (unlike freckles which are always flat and usually a light brown colour).
How many Atypical Moles do you have on your Body?
Atypical Naevi are larger irregular dark brown or black moles, usually more than 5 mm in diameter.
How many freckles do you have on your Body?
Freckles are always flat and usually a light brown colour, occurring on the chest, face, hands, arms, shoulders and upper back.
Moderate to Many
Is there a family history of melanoma in your parents, siblings or children?
Have you noticed any mole which has recently changed in size, shape or colour?
One of the most important indicators of a possible melanoma is a changing mole. If you answer Yes to this question, you need to get the mole checked as soon as possible regardless of the results of this risk calculator.
* One of Your Moles has recently changed. Regardless of the results of this risk calculator you must get your skin checked by a qualified medical professional.
Terms and Conditions
To use this melanoma risk calculator you must agree with the following terms and conditions of use.
This risk assessment tool aims to give an estimation of your risk of developing a melanoma over the next 5 years.
The calculator is not intended to be used as a substitute for an independent health professional's advice.
This calculator has been based on the work of the Victorian Melanoma Services with some additions and adjustments by the present author. The limitations of the original calculator and of any addition/adjustments are due to the incomplete nature of the underlying medical evidence and its validity to an Australian population. Please note that while most of the calculator is based on available medical evidence, this evidence is incomplete and constantly evolving. This calculator can only be used as a general guideline and not as an absolute predictor of your personal risk of skin cancer.
It is highly recommended that you discuss your personal risk factors and results of your risk assessment with your doctor.
If you have a dark skin type (Asian, dark Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander or African Skin) then this calculator is unsuitable for you as there is insufficient medical data to base calculations on. However, with such a skin type your risk of Melanoma skin cancer is very low.
I have read and understood the information above.
Acknowledgements and Limitations
This risk calculator is based on "Emily's risk assessment tool", written by Researcher's, Physicians and other employees of the Victorian Melanoma Service (VMS, The Alfred Hospital, Commercial Rd Prahran. We gratefully acknowledge their work.
Please note that the research that this calculator has been based on is not complete and that our knowledge of melanoma skin cancer is continuously evolving. Furthermore the doctors at the Skin and Mole Clinic have added in some questions of our own which we feel are of importance. These do not have a formal research base of knowledge to base risk values on. Please do not use this calculator in place of a medical skin check.
Lakeside Skin Cancer Centre. Suite1A Ground Floor, 52 Davidson Terrace, Joondalup, WA 6027