25 Apr BITS PLUS SKIN CANCER CLINIC @ BITS MEDICAL CENTRE
BITS Medical Centre has recently expanded to offer affordable, preventative skin cancer checks out of their new facility in Boyne Island.
“Our doctors are all certified GP’s and we use the latest German HEINE Cube technology for the skin checks in our new BITS Plus building. Pictures of moles are analysed and stored for future comparison. The technology helps our doctors to reach a diagnosis,” Dr Gaston Boulanger MBBS, FRACGP said.
“Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world,” Dr Boulanger explained. “Early detection is the key in the treatment of Melanoma, if you treat it early it has an excellent cure rate.”
“It is important that people, especially in Queensland have their skin checked. That is why we have built a dedicated skin cancer clinic. Our doctors can fully focus on your skin during these consultations,” Dr Boulanger added.
The clinic also offers a training facility for GP registrars (James Cook University) and rooms for allied health providers; dietician, diabetes educator, mental health nurse and psychologists.
BITS Plus Skin Cancer Clinic offers comprehensive skin checks with a $25 out-of-pocket fee. Removal procedures can be performed in the same building with an out-of-pocket charge of just $30. Bookings are taken at BITS Medical Centre reception by phoning 4973 3000.
Know your risk! Are you at risk of Skin Cancer?
Anyone can develop skin cancer, however, the risk is higher in people who have –
- Unprotected exposure to the sun.
- A history of childhood tanning and sunburn.
- Pale, fair or freckled skin, especially if it burns easily and doesn’t tan.
- Light coloured eyes and fair or red hair.
- Lots of moles.
- Moles with irregular shape and uneven colour.
- A previous melanoma or another type of skin cancer.
- A strong family history of melanoma.
- Experienced short, intense periods of exposure to UV radiation especially if it caused sunburn.
- A weakened immune system.
SCAN your skin! It is important to know what you are looking for –
S – Sore
C – Changing
A – Abnormal
N – New
Did you know! – Sun protection is vital at every age. More than 90% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun!
There are three main types of Skin Cancer –
Melanoma – This is the rarest yet most dangerous form of skin cancer. It can appear at any age, and on any area of the body, not only those exposed to the sun. Often melanoma has no symptoms, however, the first sign is generally a change in an existing mole or the appearance of a new spot. There may be a change in size, shape, colour, elevation, itching or bleeding of a spot. If you notice a new spot or changes to an existing spot you should have them examined by a doctor. Early detection is vital!
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – SCCs arise from the cells above the basal layer of the epidermis. They grow more rapidly than BCCs and may become larger over several months. SCCs usually appears as a flat, scaly area that gradually thickens. Sometimes bleeding and ulceration may occur, and the area may feel tender. SCCs are mostly found on areas of the body most often exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, hands, forearms and lower limbs. If not treated these cancers can spread to other parts of the body.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – BCCs are the least dangerous form of skin cancer, the most easily treated and the most common. They are formed on the basal cell layer of the skin. They mostly appear as a pearly lump or scaly dry area that is pale or bright pink in colour, or shiny. They can become inflamed or bleed. BCCs occur mainly in exposed areas such as the head, neck and upper body.
*Information sourced from BITS Medical Centre, Cancer Council Queensland & www.scanyourskin.org