Living in Australia, a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, it is important to have regular skin checks by a professional. But how often is often enough? And at what age should you start getting checked?
While older Australians are at a higher risk of developing all types of cancer, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among adolescents and young adults. Therefore, regardless of your age, it’s important to regularly check your skin.
The Cancer Council recommends adults should check their own skin and moles every 3 months. If you’re concerned about your skin cancer risk or notice anything on your skin that’s changed in size, shape or colour, see your GP straight away. Those at risk are recommended to have a trained doctor examine them at least once a year.
SunSmart Australia recommends to go to your GP for your skin check as they’ll be able refer you to a skin specialist for further assessment if necessary. While not all dermatologists require a GP referral to be seen, many do and some surgical procedures can’t be done without a referral. Further, many dermatologists offer reduced fees and/or earlier appointments to those with a GP referral.
When choosing whether to visit your GP or a skin cancer clinic to have your skin checked, be sure to assess the qualifications and experience of the staff as well as the cost and suitability for your needs.
HealthEngine can help you find and book an available appointment with a GP near you. To get started, visit our website https://healthengine.com.au or download our app from https://healthengine.com.au/app/.