Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It arises from the pigment forming cells of the skin called melanocytes. There are about 4000 cases of melanoma diagnosed every year in New Zealand. That is 13 per day.
It may develop from a preexisting mole, but the majority will arise from where there was no preexisting mole.
If diagnosed early the cure rate is 100%.
I don’t need a referral from your GP but can send them a note if you wish to. For most patients I first check the moles that they are concerned about, either be it a new mole or a changing mole. This is followed by a full head to toe consultation of all the moles with the dermoscope.
Only the moles of concern can be checked if you wish, but the cost remain the same. If you are insured with southern cross, I can claim for you. I am an affiliated provider for southern cross.
You can request a chaperone or bring in a support person. Your modesty is maintained all the time with appropriate covering. Skin of the breast, genitals or buttock areas are not routinely checked. You should alert me if there are any moles under these areas to be checked.
It would help me if you do not wear facial make up. Nail polishes needs to be removed before the check.
Treatment in the form of cryotherapy or liquid Ice is usually performed at the time of the consultation. If you require a biopsy or surgical excision, it will be scheduled for a different day.
Consultation Fee – $140.00
There are many types of Melanoma.
Superficial Spreading Melanoma
The most common and easily diagnosed melanoma is the superificial spreading melanoma. This is the melanoma where you the ABCDE criteria can be used to diagnose. Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Colours, Diameter and Evolution.
These melanoma do not have the typical melanoma features. The can be coloured or plain. They may start as a bump which can bleed. ABCD criteria is of no use but E ( evolution, change) is very important to pick these up. IF YOU NOTICE A RAPIDLY CHANGING BUMP YOU NEED TO GET THIS CHECKED OUT ASAP.
It is very important to pick these up very early. It has a very aggressive growth phase and grows about 0.49 mm depth per month (compared to superficial spreading melanomas which grow at a rate of 0.12 mm depth per month).
These melanoma do not have pigment. THEY LACK THE ABCD (A for symmetry, B for border irregularity, C for colours and D for dimension.) This could be a red bump or flat.
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is the most serious of skin cancers. It can occur from a previous mole, but most time occurs when there is no preexisting mole. There are several types of melanoma both coloured and non coloured. (pigmented and non pigmented) If picked up early the cure rate is 100%.
What causes melanomas?
The most important cause is exposure to excessive sunlight (UV radiation) which 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?
How is your Melanoma mole check different to the one done at molemap or molecheck or with my GP or the dermatologist?
What qualifications or further education do you have to do a mole check?
- Advanced Certificate in Dermoscopy and Dermal Imaging, University of Queensland, 2007.
- Certificate in Dermoscopy, Skin Cancer College of Australia, 2017.
- 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 (University of Queensland, Australia)
- Southern Cross Affiliated Provider for Skin Cancer Work 2012 – current.