Quite simply, if you have experienced sun damage (sun burn) to your skin, we recommend a skin check. Particularly if you have:

  • Grown up in Australia
  • Had a family member diagnosed with skin cancer
  • Previously had a skin cancer of any type
  • Fair hair, blue eye colour and burn easily
  • Hobbies or work that keeps you out in the sun
  • Numerous moles
  • Any concerns about your skin – Notice a new or changing lesion.


skin cancer doctor mount martha


1. The main determinant of survival from melanoma relates to the thickness of the melanoma at the time of diagnosis (also called Breslow thickness)

2. Research indicates that skin screening does find melanomas that are thinner at the time of diagnosis than those that are incidentally found. Most of the melanomas found in the screening setting are found in either level 1 or level 2 stages, both of which have excellent prognosis.


There are many ways to routinely screen the skin for skin cancer.

1. Total Body Photography – This is where a series of high quality photographs are taken of you to identify where your moles are. The photography is not usually performed by a Doctor.

These are not microscopic photographs but more overview photographs. This is particularly useful as an additional tool for people with 100’s of moles to help them keep an eye on things themselves.

2. Mole and/or Spot Mapping – A mole or spot mapping is usually performed by non medical practitioners who photograph the moles using a microscope.

A Doctor then looks at the images after your appointment, and will advise on a plan for each of the moles, usually referring you back to your GP if any action is required.



At MP Skin Check, your consultation from start to finish is with a Doctor, who will examine your skin from head to toe.

Your Doctor’s goal is to identify freckles or moles that are ‘atypical’ or irregular. Safe moles and freckles are easily identified and do not need photographic monitoring.

The more moles or freckles that are identified as ‘atypical’ the more photographs will be required. The photographs help analyse and monitor any changes. The diagnostic expertise lies with your Doctor performing the skin check and immediately identifying any problems.

If a mole or freckle appears suspicious, it will be biopsied. It may be removed during the consultation or arrangements made to remove it at a separate appointment –  Your Doctor will take you through this entire process.

Your next follow up appointment will be set using our reminder system depending on your skin type and monitoring requirements.



1. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

The commonest and relatively safest type of skin cancer. BCCs account for approximately 70% of non-melanoma skin cancers and are more of a local problem that erodes the skin around them, eventually causing a bleeding sore or ulcer.

The simplest way to identify a BCC is to think of anything that looks like a pimple or a sore but it wont heal in 6 weeks.

They are usually pink, slightly shiny, and sometimes bleed easily with minimal trauma (ie drying yourself with a towel). Very rarely if neglected for a long time they can spread to other parts of the body.

BCCs depending on their type can be treated in different ways, including cutting them out, use of creams and curettage (scraping and using electrical current).

2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

These lesions are usually raised, scaly and sore. They are the only skin cancer that arises from a pre-cancerous lesion, called a solar keratosis.

Solar keratosis are the painless rough spots that can occur in heavily sun exposed areas such as the scalp, face, hands and forearms, and often people have had these frozen with nitrogen therapy in the past.

A small number (<1%) of solar keratosis can progress into an SCC. They have slightly higher potential for metastasis (spread to lymph nodes or other organs) than BCCs but are usually contained and removed by surgery at the time of diagnosis. They are usually a result of heavy exposure over a long time (ie. Outdoor workers). A form of SCC in its early stages is called IEC (intraepithelial carcinoma) or ‘Bowens’ disease. This is an SCC that is just confined to the epidermis (top layer of skin),

3. Melanoma

Melanoma is the main reason for skin checks being performed. Too many Australians, often young, die unnecessarily from melanoma that has been detected too late and spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma can arise from an existing mole, though this is rare, and usually it is a brand new spot. The clue is it should look different (often darker) than your other moles and you will often notice it getting noticeably larger over months.

Melanomas can present themselves as brown or black or even pink colour. Some melanomas grow faster than others and the fast growing ones are more risky.

For more information visit – Cancer Council Australia.


You should check your skin every 3 months for any signs of melanoma. Use a mirror to check the areas you cannot see or ask a family member or friend to help you.

Look for any moles that catch your attention as being new, larger or changed in some way. See the ‘ABCD’ rules for melanoma detection, and be particularly on the lookout for the more dangerous type of melanoma, a nodular melanoma, with the useful acronym ‘EFG’:

  • Elevated
  • Firm and;
  • Growing

to help you detect it.

Supplementing this with your regular full body skin check by your doctor is the best way to identify a melanoma in its early stages.  This approach may aid in the prevention and cure of skin cancer.


These are a great guide that could help you when checking your skin:

A = Asymmetry – Look for spots that lack symmetry or look out of shape. If you draw a line through the middle of the spot, the two sides would not match up.

B = Border – A spot that is uneven in looks with a spreading or irregular edge (notched).

C = Colour – Look for uneven, different or blotchy coloured spots with a number of colours such as black, blue, red, white and or grey.

D = Diameter – Look for spots that are getting larger over time (melanomas are more likely to be larger than regular moles, >6mm, and get larger over time).

Be on the look out for:

  • New or recent moles
  • Moles or spots that have increased in size
  • A change in the outline or shape of a mole
  • A spot that has changed colour – Brown, black, red, purple or is varied


  • The surface of a mole or spot becomes rough, scaly or ulcerated
  • A sore that won’t heal
  • Moles or spots that bleed or weep
  • Spots that are the ‘odd one out’ and look different to others

Find out more from Cancer Council Australia.

IMPORTANT NOTE – If you notice changes to your skin, it does not necessarily mean that you have skin cancer. I recommend you visit a skin cancer specialist to have any of your spots investigated further. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me  – Dr Kristy Edwards



Skin Cancer Doctor Mount Martha – Our Doctors see patients for skin checks from all over Melbourne including Mornington, Moorooduc, Mount Eliza, Somerville, Frankston South, Frankston, Langwarrin South, Mount Martha, Safety Beach, Dromana and Hastings.