Skin Cancer Clinic's - Early Detection & Treatment  - Brisbane Northside - Book a PDT Light Therapy Assessment today

Melanoma Scan is your local skin cancer clinic in Brisbane's Northside. Early Detection and Treatment Centre.

 

Cancer

  • Are skin cancers genetic?

    Skin cancers do occur more commonly in some families, but rather than being genetic as such, it can be that these families all experienced more sunburns due to habitual exposure to the sun through sport or other outdoor activities.  There are rare genetic mutations that can lead to a very high risk of skin cancer, including Gorlin’s syndrome, which can lead to a high risk of BCC formation.  Melanoma appears to be genetic in a small proportion of patients, but there is no genetic testing available as yet to quantify your risk of melanoma.  If you have a family history of skin cancer including melanoma, you may be at increased risk of skin cancer, and it may be worthwhile having annual skin checks, especially if you have risk factors for skin cancer yourself.

  • Book a PDT Light Therapy Assessment

    PDT Light therapy (Photodynamic Therapy) is fast becoming a popular and effective treatment for pre-cancerous lesions and fields as well as some early cancers.

    This therapy also has the added advantage of improving the look and feel of the skin.

    Schedule an Appointment

    A pre-treatment appointment should be completed 2-3 weeks prior to the light therapy treatment date.

    Complete the form below and we will get back to you with the soonest available appointment.

    Please note that the Light Therapy is currently only available in our Mitchelton Skin Cancer Clinic and our Toombul Skin Cancer Clinic in Nundah

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  • Diathermy & Curettage

    Diathermy and Curettage is a treatment using a semi sharp instrument to scrape out the cancerous tumour and uses diathermy to destroy a further margin of surrounding tissue and stop bleeding.

  • Ellipse Excision

    Ellipse excision is the simplest and commonest form of surgical treatment and involves cutting out a boat shaped section of skin containing the cancer, and then using sutures to bring the edges together.

  • How do I protect my children against skin cancer?

    Sun damage at a young age is potentially the most dangerous, because the skin is thin and delicate and may burn more easily.  It is also the time when sunburn is most likely to result in freckling and mole formation, which are both markers for people at risk of future skin cancers.  In fact, a mole count over forearms is an indication of future melanoma risk, with high mole counts being associated with increased lifetime risk of melanoma.  Children need to be protected from sun damage and in particular sun burn with hats, sunglasses, protective clothing (shirts, rash vests), high potency sunscreens (50+ SPF recommended) and avoidance sun exposure in the hottest part of the day.  Every sunburn contributes to an increased risk of skin cancer in future and there may be a very long (decades) delay before the skin cancer appears.  Skin cancers occurring after a single sunburn has been documented, with a delay of 40 years between the sunburn and the eventual cancer formation. Regular sunscreen application for skin types susceptible to sun burn can prevent accidental sunburns, and lead to a reduced risk of future skin cancers.

    Most children are at very low risk of skin cancers, so regular skin checks are not routinely recommended unless there are particular concerns.  While skin cancers including melanoma are rare, they do occur, so if there is a mole or spot that is changing or growing at an accelerated rate, or looks odd or different to every other mole on the child’s body, then they should be checked to ensure it is not a cancer.

  • I have been diagnosed with skin cancer, what’s next?

    After a diagnosis of skin cancer the doctor will discuss treatment options, which may be as simple as a 5 minute procedure to perform curettage and cautery to the lesion, or a surgical procedure to formally excise the lesion with appropriate margins.  Most excisions are done as an elipse and suture ie the lesion is cut out as a boat shape of skin, and the edges brought together using a combination of deep dissolving and superficial sutures which are removed a week later.  Occasionally for more difficult or cosmetically sensitive areas, a flap or a graft may need to be used to maintain a normal appearance or function post skin cancer excision.  Sometimes radiotherapy or further testing may be needed for high risk lesions.

    What is Radiotherapy?

    Radiotherapy is often used where there is an inoperable lesion or where surgery is not practical such as peri- neural invasion of cancer. High risk cases of melanoma may warrant testing with CT scans, PET scans, or sentinel lymph node biopsy. 

    Your doctor will inform you about the nature of the cancer you have and if further testing and or treatment is necessary.

  • Keratoacanthoma

    Keratoacanthoma - Skin Cancer Type

    Some experts in skin cancer regard Keratoacanthoma (KA) as a subtype of SCC, but with the difference that they may eventually resolve without treatment if left alone.

  • Melanoma

    Melanoma - Skin Cancer Types

    Melanoma is a less common form of skin cancer but can be one of the deadliest. Melanoma can form on any part of the body but most often forms on sun exposed areas such as the arms, legs and face.

  • Signs of Skin Cancer

    Signs of Skin Cancer

    Skin cancer checks are an essential part of life for all people living in Queensland, a state with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Skin cancer check might involve monitoring changes in spots, new spots, persistent irritation, red or scaly marks, spots that bleed easily, and new lumps. You might notice a spot that's changing, growing, or simply looks different from the rest. Being vigilant about these changes always check your skin and promptly see your doctor or get a professional skin check if you notice any of these signs. Early detection is key to successful treatment, especially with signs of melanoma, which can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Skin checks are recommended for all adults living in Australia, as part of normal care with your general practitioner

     

    Who Has The Highest of Skin Cancer Risk?

    An annual skin check (or more frequent checks) is recommended for adults if:

    • you have a history of skin cancer or dysplastic naevus syndrome (abnormal mole)
    • you have an extensive history of sun exposure.
    • you have a family history of skin cancer or dysplastic naevus syndrome (abnormal moles)
    • you have premalignant change on your skin (solar keratosis)
    • you have a large number of moles on your skin
    • your doctor has recommended a regular check.

    What are Skin Cancer Warning Signs and Symptoms?

    Skin cancers can be sometimes obvious but more often subtle changes in your skin.  Any change in your skin can alert you to the risk of skin cancer but in particular it is important to watch out for:

    • any change in a mole or pigmented spot on your skin
    • any new pigmented spot on your skin, particularly if it changes after you first notice it.
    • any persisting itch or irritation in a mole or other spot on your skin
    • any persisting red scaly mark, particularly if it grows over time.
    • any spot that bleeds easily, for instance, with towelling after bathing
    • any new lump that arises, particularly if it grows after you first notice it.

    If you have noticed any of these changes on your skin, you should present immediately to your general practitioner or skin cancer doctor for a check. 

     

    What are the Different types of Skin Cancer?

    The three main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. BCC is the most common and grows slowly, while SCC can grow quickly. The causes of skin cancer are primarily linked to exposure to UV radiation, with risk factors including skin type, sun exposure, and a history of skin cancer. Australia has a high rate of skin cancer, and at Melanoma Scan, we encourage awareness, prevention, and early detection. 

    Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most prevalent type, constituting approximately 66% of skin cancers, and originates in the basal cells of the skin. Typically, BCC exhibits slow growth over several months or years and seldom metastasises to other body parts. If left untreated, certain BCCs can penetrate deeper into the skin, affecting nerves and adjacent tissues, posing challenges for treatment.

    The likelihood of developing additional BCCs increases if one has already been diagnosed, and it's possible to have multiple BCCs simultaneously in different areas of the body.

    Signs of BCC include:

    • Occurs in regions with heightened sun exposure, such as the head, face, neck, shoulders, lower arms, and legs, though it can manifest anywhere on the body.
    • Presents as a pearl-coloured lump or slightly scaly area that appears shiny and pale, bright pink, or potentially darker.
    • May result in the breakdown of the skin (ulceration), bleeding, and inflammation. The affected area may seem to heal and then become inflamed once again.

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) constitutes the second most common type of skin cancer, accounting for about 33% of cases. Originating in the squamous cells of the skin, SCCs have the potential for rapid growth over several weeks or months.

    Some SCCs are confined to the top layer of the skin, termed SCC in situ, intra-epidermal carcinoma, or Bowen’s disease. When SCC invades through the basement membrane, it is categorised as invasive SCC. If left untreated, invasive SCC can metastasise to other parts of the body. SCC occurring on the lips and ears is more prone to spreading.

    Signs of SCC include:

    • Typically appearing on areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, hands, forearms, and lower legs, but can initiate anywhere.
    • Often presenting as a thickened, red, scaly, or crusted spot or a rapidly growing lump.
    • May exhibit bleeding, inflammation, and tenderness upon touch.

    Melanoma

    Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, originates in melanocytes and typically develops on areas of the body that have undergone excessive sun exposure. Uncommonly, melanomas may initiate within the eye or in regions of the skin or body unaffected by sunlight, including mucous membranes (e.g., sinuses, digestive tract, genitals), soles of the feet, palms of the hands, and beneath the nails. Despite being less prevalent than non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma is deemed highly serious due to its increased likelihood of spreading to various body parts, particularly when not identified in its early stages.

    Signs of Melanoma include:

    Melanoma exhibits diverse appearances, especially in individuals with numerous moles, making it distinct from other moles. The initial indication often involves a new spot or alterations in an existing mole, characterised by:

    Size:The spot may emerge or commence growing larger.
    Colour: The spot may display irregular blotches with varying depths and hues, including brown, black, blue, red, white, light grey, pink, or skin-coloured.
    Shape or Border:The spot may elevate, develop scaliness, adopt an irregular shape (scalloped or notched), or lack symmetry, presenting different halves.
    Itching or Bleeding:The mole may be prone to easy itching or bleeding.
    Elevation:The spot may initiate as a raised nodule or evolve into a raised area, often taking on a reddish or reddish-brown hue.

    What Can Happen if I Don't Get a Skin Check?

    The most important factor in skin cancer care is the prompt recognition of a skin cancer and it's early and complete removal.  Melanoma in particular can be deadly if there is a delay in diagnosis.  The chance of a person dying from melanoma is most closely related to the thickness of the melanoma at the time of initial diagnosis and any evidence of early spread.  In most cases, with prompt recognition and treatment, the chance of dying from melanoma is rare (level 1 melanoma has a 5-year survival rate of >99%), however, in some cases the melanoma has already spread from the initial site where it arose, and in this situation treatment options can be limited. The chance of an individual patient dying from a melanoma has dropped in the last 10 years due to early recognition and treatment of this cancer, so don't delay if you believe you may have one.

     

    Regular Skin Checks is the best course of defence against Early Skin Cancer Detection

    In the pursuit of a healthy life, your first line of defence against skin cancer is regular check-ups. Living in Queensland, where skin cancer rates are among the highest globally, it's crucial to be proactive in your healthcare. Whether you've noticed changes or not, an annual skin check, especially if you have a history of skin issues, sun exposure, or a family history, can make all the difference.

    Don't underestimate the power of early detection – it can be a lifesaver. Reach out to our dedicated skin cancer clinics in Brisbane Northside or consult with your GP. Remember, your skin's well-being is in your hands, and the key to effective diagnosis and treatment lies in regular check-ups. Take charge of your health and schedule a skin check today.

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  • Skin Cancer Check - Brisbane Northside Skin Cancer Clinic

    Skin Check Brisbane

    Living in Australia you have a higher risk of skin damage as a result of increased exposure to the sun. Australians have a 2 in 3 chance of developing skin cancer in their lifetime. A simple yearly skin check can detect issues early and can save your life. Melanoma affects about 1 in 30 people in Australia and kills more than a 1000 people a year.

  • Skin Tag Removal

    Skin Tag Removal

    Skin tags are small benign growths attached to the skin by a small thin stalk. Skin tag removal is a simple process completed by a doctor. Removing skin tags at home can be painful and often bleed heavily or become infected.

  • Sunspots

    Sunspots

    Sunspots, which are also called solar or actinic keratoses, are pink or tan coloured scaly spots that feel slightly rough to the touch. They occur commonly in people over 40 with light skin and hair/eyes and on skin that’s often exposed to the sun.  Most common areas are the face, tips of the ears, back of hands and forearms. 

  • What age do I need to have my children's skin checked?

    Most children are at very low risk of skin cancers, so regular skin checks are not routinely recommended unless there are particular concerns.  While skin cancers including melanoma are rare, they do occur, so if there is a mole or spot that is changing or growing at an accelerated rate, or looks odd or different to every other mole on the child’s body, then they should be checked to ensure it is not a cancer.

Our team of doctors with many years of experience

All three clinics are proud to offer the latest in skin cancer imaging technology with 14 doctors who have a special interest skin cancer and associated conditions. Included on our staff are 5 female skin cancer doctors.

We also can boast a total of eight different languages spoken by amongst our doctors, making our clinic more accessible for patients from diverse backgrounds.

Dr Paul Annells - Melanoma Scan Clinicr Doctor

Dr Paul Annells

Current Qualifications:
BMBS, FRACGP, Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer)

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Dr Reza Moradi - Melanoma Scan Skin Clinic

Dr Reza Moradi

Current Qualifications:
MD, FRACGP, AMC

Languages Spoken: English and Persian

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Dr Dao Vo - Melanoma Scan Skin Cancer Clinic

Dr Dao Vo

Current Qualifications:
MBBS, FRACGP

Languages Spoken: English and Vietnamese

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Dr Marcio Francisco

Dr Marcio Francisco

Current Qualifications:
MBBS, AMC Advanced Standard Certificate, FRAGGP, Master of Medicine, Member of the Skin Cancer College of Australia (SCCA)

Languages: English, Portuguese

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Dr Kate Crilly - Melanoma Scan Skin Cancer Clinic

Dr Kate Crilly

Current Qualifications:
MBBS (London), MRCGP, FRACGP, Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer).

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Dr Donna Westbrook  - Melanoma Scan Skin Cancer Clinic

Dr Donna Westbrook

Current Qualifications:
MBBS (HONS), FANZCA

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Dr Carmen Gutierrez  - Melanoma Scan Skin Cancer Clinic

Dr Carmen Gutierrez

Current Qualifications:
MBBS (Barcelona), FRACGP, Master of Medicine (Skin Cancer).

Languages Spoken: English, French and Spanish

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Dr Chris Robinson

Dr. Chris Robinson

Current Qualifications
MBCHB, BSc (1st Class, Hons), MRCGP, Dip Derm (Aus), M Med (skin cancer, Dist), FAID, FSCCA

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Dr Ben Smith

Dr Ben Smith

Current Qualifications: 
FRACGP, MBBS, BPHTY, SCCA

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Dr Cassandra Faris

Dr Cassandra Faris

Current Qualifications:
MBBS, FRACGP, MMED (Skin Cancer)

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Dr Boon

Dr Boon

Current Qualifications:
MBBS, FRACGP, Master of Medicine (skin cancer), Primary Skin Cancer, MS (Gen Surg)

Languages Spoken: English and Tamil

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Dr. Julius Soriano

Dr. Julius Soriano

Current Qualifications:
Skin Cancer Doctor
RN, MD,FRACGP,
Prof.Dip.ScMed

Languages Spoken: English and Filipino

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