Dec. 17, 2013
Now summer is here it is time to be Sun Smart and protect yourself as much as possible from the UV rays. New Zealanders are very vulnerable to skin cancers, both melanoma and non melanoma skin cancer (squamous cell and basal cell cancers). Look out for any new moles, and moles that have changed, bled, become itchy or look odd. It is important that your GP visualise suspicious moles under a dermascope and decide if they need to be removed and rule out a melanoma.
Look out too for any scaly patches of skin, wounds that do not heal and lumps with pearly raised lesions; these may be skin cancers that need removal. Most suspicious lesions can be managed here at Medplus, for a frac-tion of the price a specialist would charge. Almost all of our GPs have had training in detecting and managing skin cancers and perform regular minor surgeries at Medplus in our dedicated surgical theatre.
Doctors Jean Lim and Martin Hadler have a special interest in this field and are even contracted by the hospital to perform skin surgeries on patients from all over the area in order to reduce hospital waiting times. Occasionally we refer difficult lesions on to a specialist and our choice would be a dermatologist, surgeon or a plastic surgeon, and we always refer confirmed melano-mas. We advise most people over 45 (earlier if you have a family history of melanoma) to come in and have a thorough skin check every year – it only takes 15 minutes. If you want to know more go to http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/skin-cancer.html