Skin check for skin cancer.
Skin cancer diagnosis is relatively easy.
You don’t need 10 years of paid apprenticeship to learn something so dead simple.
Expert skin cancer examination takes less than 3 minutes ! This does not include time for undressing and re-dressing. The majority of the time you don’t need invasive biopsy to diagnose skin cancer. There is no need to biopsy an apple to say, oh yes it’s an apple! And, of course if you need to biopsy a lesion you need to know what you are biopsying first .
At our skin cancer clinic at Parramatta and Wollongong, we use our clinical experience together with dermoscopy to do skin checks.
Dermoscopy is a simple method that enables detailed examination of the structure of skin lesions or moles. It improves the diagnosis of the vast majority of all skin cancer types without resorting to excessive biopsies– saving you time, unnecessary stress and costs.
Micro-photo’s of moles can be taken through these devices for later review if indicated.
There are many eye catching and elaborate skin check or mole check machines available commercially. They are good for the inexperienced . They are not 100% accurate . The ideal person to operate mole photo machine are ones who have good working knowledge of dermoscopy.
Photographic documentation may be of value if you are at high risk for developing melanoma, i.e. if you have multiple moles and numerous dysplastic neavii ( atypical moles ) where biopsies of them all would be impractical and hence photographic follow up would be better.
Basal cell carcinoma. This is a glaring example of a bcc. The clinico-dermoscopic picture is so obvious that biopsy is unnecessary. On the left is the naked eye image of a bcc and it’s microscopic picture on the right.
Melanoma. Both of these lesions look suspicious. The novice would biopsy both. The expert dermoscopist would biopsy the left lesion based on the clinical history and the dermoscopic image. The right lesion is a benign clotted heamangioma- “blood blister”. The lesion on the left is a early stage melanoma.
This patient was told that this lesion was a squamous cell carcinoma, A novice would incline to believe it. On history taking, general skin check and dermoscopic examination, a diagnosis of varicose eczema was made. We treated his varicose veins by ultrasound guided sclerotherapy and the rash and ulcer resolved.