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FAQs Skin Cancer

What happens at the Clinic?

On arrival you will fill out a simple questionnaire outlining your past skin cancer treatments, family history and other relevant medical history. The doctor will then call you into the room and discuss this with you to clarify any points of interest to him/her. After this you will undress in private to your underwear (bathers are recommended). Your partner is welcome to attend the examination if you wish.

Your examination

Full body examinations (underwear is left on) are a routine and vital part of your preventive healthcare routine. At SMC we take this very seriously and no shortcuts are taken. Every significant mole on your body will be subject to a computerized scan, including all those that either you or your doctor are concerned about.

A Mole Scan does not include a genital examination or scalp examination, however if you are worried about a mole in these areas please inform the doctor at the time of your examination.

Who performs the Mole Scan?

The examination is performed by Dr DSouza or one of his associated Skin Cancer Doctors.

Do I need a referral?

A doctor's referral is not needed. Appointments are essential, however, and please bear in mind that we are usually booked up a few weeks in advance.

You can simply call 9301 1825 to make an appointment.

How long does it take?

Depending on the complexity of your skin moles, your examination should take approximately 15 minutes.

Are there any side effects or discomfort?

The Mole Scan is completely non-invasive, does not involve radiation or ultrasound rays and do not hurt. It is completely safe for children and pregnant women.

What will happen if a suspicious lesion is detected?

If a pre cancerous Solar Keratosis is detected, it is treated with cryotherapy (freezing). If a Skin cancer is suspected—a biopsy (removal of a small part) or excision (removal of the entire lesion) is arranged.

Minor Surgical Procedures

If a skin cancer is detected, arrangements are made for a small piece to be sent off for testing (this is called a Biopsy). This may occur at the time of the consultation or at a later date.

Sometimes a lesion needs to be removed completely (this occurs with suspected melanomas and biopsy proven skin cancers).

In all cases, the doctor will discuss fully what is planned and give you full written instructions both before and after the procedure.

All instruments used are fully sterilized with Australian Standards approved equipment.

When do I get my results?

A copy of the Pathology Report will be given to you at your follow up appointment, to keep for your records, and/or to give to your general practitioner or referring doctor. You will also receive advice from the doctor in simple terms about what this means, and general advice about sun avoidance, sunscreens and self examination (what to look out for in between appointments).

Minimally invasive Treatments

SMC is proud that it is one of the very few clinics that offers the full range of non surgical treatments for certain skin cancers. If your cancer is of a suitable type, you can have it treated without surgery, needles or scars! As always, full written advice is given to assist you to understand your treatment options.

Follow Up

All our patients are entered into a computerised recall system so that you are seen at the appropriate interval - in three, six or 12 months, depending on your risk factors. Your treating doctor will advise you of this and enter this date into the computer.

What if a mole appears or changes between appointments?

You are instructed in what to look our for - and must book for - an urgent rescan as soon as you notice a change in a mole. It is vital that any new or changing mole be assessed as soon as possible, so we recommend that you take advantage of this medical service if you are concerned. Simply call 9301 1825 to make an appointment.

Remember, skin cancer is one of the few cancers that can be diagnosed before it is too late. Early detection saves lives.

"Our Clinic has treated thousands of West Australians. Most of our patients come from recommendations of friends or family."