What is melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It can occur in a new mole on your skin, or from a previous mole. If picked up early the cure rate is 100%.
What causes melanomas?
Exposure to excessive sunlight (UV radiation) damages the skin (sun burn). If this happens it causes changes to the structure of the pigment producing cells of the skin. If you have had significant sun burns in the past this increases your risk of a melanoma.
How do I know if my mole or freckle is a melanoma?
Most moles are normal. If you have a mole that is new or changing in any form or colour or shape, gets crusty or bleeds or itches it needs checked.
What does melanoma look like?
If your mole is new and changes it needs checked. Melanomas can occur in a preexisting mole. It may stand out, become darker, itches, or gets crusty, or grows . Please click here to see a melanoma image.
Am I at risk of developing a melanoma?
- fair skin that burns
- have many moles
- have had sun burns in the past
you should have a regular skin check with a doctor trained in early skin cancer diagnosis. Are you at risk?
How do I diagnose melanoma early?
I use a skin surface microscope called Dermoscope to diagnose early melanomas. I have used this for over 13 years now. Light, magnification and cross polarisation increases penetration of light. This make it easier to read a mole. Read more…
How is your Melanoma mole check different to the one done at molemap or molecheck or with my GP or the dermatologist?
Molemap and Molecheck companies use a dermoscope. A dermatologist reads at a later time the pictures taken by a nurse in molemap. You dont see the dermatologist or a skin cancer doctor at molemap. Molecheck are GPs trained like me. Your GP may or may not have had training to use a dermoscope. A dermatologist uses a dermoscope as well to diagnose early melanomas.
What qualifications or further education do you have to do a mole check?
- I have used a dermoscope more or less every day since 2005.
- Advanced Certificate in Dermoscopy and Dermal Imaging, University of Queensland, 2007.
- Certificate in Dermoscopy, Skin Cancer College of Australia, 2015.
- Active member in International Dermoscopy Society.
- Auckland Hospital GP with special interest in skin cancer work – 2012 to 2017. Skin cancer meetings headed by melanoma specialists every month during that period.
- Rotorua GP conference every year attend sessions with particular focus in skin cancer
- Diploma in Dermoscopy, completing in 2019 (Bond University, Australia)
- Southern Cross Affiliated Provider for Skin Cancer Work 2012 – current.