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Below are answers to some of our common enquiries, but if you have anything else you'd like to ask, please don't hesitate to contact us here.

  • Do I need a mole check?
    Early detection is your best defence against the complications of melanoma and other skin cancers. This is best done by a thorough check by a skin cancer expert. Our doctors are experts in skin cancer, that is all they do day in and day out.
  • Is Skin Cancer something I should be worried about?
    New Zealand and Australia have the highest melanoma incidence rate in the world. According to statistics compiled by over 4000 people are diagnosed every year in New Zealand – that’s around 11 every day. It’s the fourth most common cancer in New Zealand and around 300 New Zealanders die of melanoma every year.
  • How can I tell if a spot is cancerous?
    It isn’t easy, some pigmented lesions that look perfectly symmetrical and consistent in colour to the naked eye, can under dermatoscopy have clues that reveal the lesion is in fact a melanoma and not a mole. Other pigmented lesions on the skin that look “nasty” because they’re large and ugly can be absolutely fine. It helps immensely to have plenty of expert medical training in dermatoscopy and years of experience.
  • How is a Melanoma diagnosed?
    If our doctors suspect that a spot on your skin is a melanoma, you may need to have a biopsy. A biopsy is the only way to make a definite diagnosis. In this procedure, the suspicious-looking growth is removed and sent to a pathologist who then examines the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. Once the results are in hand we will contact you to discuss them.
  • What are the different types of skin cancers and what causes it?
    Most cases of skin cancer are caused by over-exposure to UV rays, either from our strong kiwi sun or sun beds. When caught in the early stages, most skin cancers are curable, which is why regular checks are so important. Skin cancers are named by the type of skin cell they originate from: Basal cell cancers originate from the lowest layer of the epidermis, and is the most common (70% of all skin cancers) and the least dangerous. Squamous cell cancers originate from the middle layer of the epidermis and is less common (20% of all skin cancers) and can occasionally spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma is probably the one you have heard about most often, which originates in the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes), it is the less common (5% of all skin cancers), but has the most likelihood of spreading to other areas of the body and have life-threatening consequences. The remaining 5% of skin cancers are made up of rare tumours
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