Easy habit change to save your life: 20 minutes, once a year
A SKIN cancer check can take as little as 20 minutes and can save your life.
Family Health Clinic Practice Manager Ellisha Freeman said the full-body, excluding genitals, would be checked in the skin cancer screen.
"The doctor checks over your skin with an instrument called a dermatoscope,” Mrs Freeman said.
If doctors notice anything concerning, they may perform a biopsy, testing part of a lesion to see if it's cancerous.
"A small specimen of the lesion gets sent off for testing,” she said.
"If it is something nasty, they would do a wide excision and take the whole lesion out.”
She said most patients of all ages needed to book in a scan at least once a year.
"Ideally, we recommend all patients have an annual skin check for optimal health,” she said.
Patients with a family history of skin cancers as well as those who had previously had skin cancers were encouraged to see a doctor more often.
"Sometimes that can be reduced to closer intervals on the recommendation of their doctor,” she said.
"If it was more aggressive skin cancer type, it might be a situation where they have three-monthly checks for a couple of years.”
Family Health Clinic offers skin checks year round, with many of the doctors bulk-billing.