Frequently asked questions
How do I check my skin?
Follow these steps to conduct a thorough check:
- Set aside about 10 minutes of your time. Don’t rush your check or you may miss a skin cancer that’s just beginning to form – and the earlier you catch one, the better for your health and your looks.
- If examining your skin for the very first time, get to know your pattern of moles, freckles, blemishes, scars and other markings. This way, you’ll be aware of any changes going forward. You may even like to take a photograph of particularly spotty areas if you don’t think you will remember any changes.
- Facing a full-length mirror, check your front from head to toe. Carefully check your scalp (you may need a comb to part the hair), forehead, face (including eyelids), ears, neck, chest and stomach. Women will also need to lift their breasts to check the skin underneath. Now check your armpits, your arms on both sides, your hands and palms, including in between your fingers, and even around and below your fingernails – skin cancers can occur anywhere!
- Sit down on a firm-based chair, such as a dining chair. Now check the fronts of your thighs, in between your thighs and the genital area, your shins, the tops of your feet, in between your toes and your toenail area. And then the bottom of your feet.
- Stand up and turn your back to the full-length mirror and check the back of your neck, your entire back, buttocks, the backs of your thighs and your calves, also using the hand-held mirror or a partner as needed.
- If you are concerned about any spots or markings on your skin, then make an appointment straight away with a skin cancer specialist for an assessment.
How often should I check my skin?
Try and get into a routine of doing a thorough check about every two months – monthly if you have a known history of skin cancer.
Do I need any equipment?
It’s really important that you have good lighting, a full-length mirror (as well as a small hand mirror) so that you can easily see all areas of your skin. A chair can also be helpful. You may like to ask your partner or family member to help you examine those hard-to-see areas, such as your back, back of the neck, scalp and back of your thighs.
What am I looking for?
Keep an eye out for any spots on your skin that have appeared out of nowhere, or changed colour, size, or shape over the last few weeks or months. You should also take note of any pimples or bumps that don’t seem to heal. Or dry, patchy areas of skin that bleed easily or ulcerate if left untreated. Also see Types of skin cancer for further information on the appearance of skin cancers.
Do I need a referral from a doctor to visit Skin Cancer Care NT?
No, a referral is not required. You can simply call 1300 4 SKIN NT or 08 8930 4900 and make an appointment.
What will I need to do when I arrive?
Please check in with the receptionist. Before your skin check you will be requested to complete a new patient form. This is so the doctor will be able to give you the most accurate skin assessment.
How long will my skin check take?
The average consultation takes about 15 minutes, but this may vary according to your specific needs. Feel free to make an appointment during your lunch hour.
Am I likely to be kept waiting?
Your time is valued and the doctor will make every effort to run to schedule. Of course, some patients require more time than anticipated, but appointments are scheduled to compensate for this.
Is the skin check safe? Is it painful?
The examination is completely safe and painless! The doctor simply looks over your skin under bright lights using a special hand-held magnifying tool.
Your doctor will discuss the options available to you and will make suggestions along current best medical practice guidelines.
Various surgical and non-surgical treatments are available, including cryosurgery (freezing) creams and laser, to suit your individual needs. Referral to cosmetic or other surgeons may be recommended so that you can achieve the best result for your skin condition.
The cost of your treatment will vary, depending on the severity of the skin cancer and the type of treatment used. Some rebates are available through Medicare, and the clinic is more than happy to discuss payment/treatment options.
What happens if something suspicious is found?
The doctor will explain all the options for further investigations and/or treatment at the time of your skin check. You are always free to ask for another opinion.
Is bulk-billing available?
No, however most of the fee for consultations, investigations and treatment is rebatable through Medicare.
How do I make an appointment?
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