Frequently Asked Questions
Who will be involved in my Mole Mapping?
Melanographers with years of experience, together with our team of doctors with special interest and training in skin cancer detection and surgical technique, have combined to provide this specialist service. The MOLEMAX skin imaging equipment used by our technicians, is able to capture microscopic images , magnified 30 times using light wave photographic technology. All images are then diagnosed and stored on the MOLEMAX system so changes in lesions can be carefully monitored and treated as required. Our melanographers specialize in skin cancer detection, prevention and patient education. They are happy to answer any questions you may have throughout your consultation.
What is the difference between skin cancer and sun damage?
Sun damaged skin is not cancerous but has an increased risk to become skin cancer. There are many different types of skin cancer. Early detection is vital. Melanoma is one of the most dangerous forms. Melanoma can develop from high levels of sun exposure, concentrated exposure to UV radiation, (solariums) and some people also have a genetic predisposition and family history of melanoma. It can develop on any part of the body, not just in areas that have been exposed to the sun.
Throughout your consult, your skin will be thoroughly checked for all types of skin cancers and pre – skin cancer cells including Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Solar Lentigo, Solar Maligna and Solar Keratosis to name a few. Peninsula Skin Cancer Centre is now detecting over 200 Melanomas annually and many thousands of Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinomas using dermal microscopic technology.
I don’t have many moles but I’m concerned about my skin, can I still be seen by a doctor?
In this case a full body skin check may be the most appropriate service. A doctor attends every skin check done in our centres. If the doctor thinks that you would benefit more from a Mole Map, they will advise you of this.
What do I need to do when I arrive for my appointment at Peninsula Skin Cancer Centre?
Our friendly reception staff will ensure they have the appropriate personal details required for your visit.You will then be directed to a waiting area. Once inside the Mole Mapping or Skin Check room the Melanographer or nurse will discuss your history and any concerns you may have. You will then be asked to change into a gown provided and the Mole Map or Skin Check will commence. At the end of the map or check a doctor will join you to examine all moles and lesions and discuss an appropriate treatment if required. This will include information on costs and post treatment care.
How long will my consultation take?
A full Mole Mapping can take up to one hour, including the consultation with both the melanographer and the doctor. A Skin Check consultation will take up to half an hour.
Is Mole Mapping painful?
Mole Mapping consultations and Skin Checks are completely non- invasive and are pain free. Both procedures are safe for all individuals including children, pregnant women and people with previously diagnosed skin conditions.
What happens if we find something?
Mole Map – after all moles and lesions are microscopically imaged and recorded, the doctor will then examine, discuss and diagnose your skin with the melanographer and yourself. Biopsies may be taken and the results phoned to you within a few days. If required, a treatment plan will be made. Costs will be discussed and timely appointments made. Any moles that present with atypical characteristics will more than likely be reviewed in which case a follow up image is taken within a twelve week period to detect any microscopic change. Skin Check – the same process applies except no digital images are taken.
What happens if I need a mole removed?
Any patient who requires a surgical excision will be briefed at the time of their Mole Mapping or Skin Check consultation and will be scheduled for their procedure at this time. All procedures are carried out using a local anaesthetic and take up to half an hour. At both the Mornington and Frankston Peninsula Skin Cancer Centres we have two fully staffed theatres on site with theatre nurses and doctors who specialize in skin cancer surgical technique in attendance.
How often do I need to come back to the clinic?
Doctors recommend that patients attend the clinic annually for a follow up Mole Map or Skin Check. During the Mole Map consultation all lesions will be re-imaged to check for changes. An annual Skin Check will also track any changes using the Dermoscope. Patients with a history of skin cancer or who present as high risk patients may be reviewed more regularly.