Skin Cancer Clinic - Byron Bay
The Bright Side’s Skin Cancer Clinic offers comprehensive skin checks by GPs with further specific training and qualifications in skin cancer diagnosis and management. We are pleased to announce that plastic surgeon Dr. Chandra Patel also consults from our rooms.
Most worryingly though, melanoma only has to be more than 1mm thick before it becomes a life-threatening illness. Melanoma can be fatal.
That’s why we offer skin checks with an accessible out of pocket cost - and they're fully bulk-billed for concession card holders.
What happens at a skin check?
When it comes to a skin check, while each doctor might have their own process, the end result is a thorough examination of all of your skin.
From your scalp to the bottom of your feet, we use a dermatoscope to examine your skin for early changes that could be indicative of skin cancer.
Accordingly, it’s important to dress appropriately in something easy to take on and off, preferably in two halves (top and bottom) and underwear that you feel comfortable in.
What are the signs of skin cancer?
50% of melanomas are found by the person it is on. Keep an eye out for any moles that look different to your other moles. Any mole that is changing, growing, itchy or bleeding should be checked. Non-melanoma skin cancers often start as a dry, scaley bit that keeps growing back, or a sore that doesn’t heal.
During skin cancer screening we are looking for pigmented lesions or moles that appear unusual. We then examine them with a dermatoscope to look for indicators of melanoma.
We are also looking for signs of non-melanoma skin cancers like Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) or Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC).
It's important you let us know about any suspicious lesions or moles that you are particularly concerned about.
What happens if you find something?
Our recommended course of action depends on what we find and where it is. We will commonly recommend a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of a lesion. This is usually done in a separate appointment.
A skin biopsy involves an injection of local anaesthetic to the area then removal of part or all of the lesion. The biopsy is sent to a laboratory.
Skin cancer treatment
If the biopsy confirms a skin cancer, we will then remove any remaining lesion along with a margin of healthy-looking skin around the cancer. This is in accordance with current guidelines which are based on evidence showing that this is necessary to decrease the risk of the cancer growing back. The more serious the cancer, the larger the recommended margin.
If the biopsy shows a low-grade of non-melanoma skin cancer, topical treatments such as cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen) or creams may be appropriate.
Skin cancer surgery
We are proud to offer an extensive range of surgical removal options at accessible pricing.
Our skin surgeries range from simple excisions such as on the trunk or arms, to more complicated surgeries such as flaps and skin grafts, and include specialised areas of the body such as face, head, neck and lower leg.
We also work closely with plastic surgeons and multidisciplinary melanoma teams. In the event that a referral is made, we continue to be involved in coordinating your care and providing ongoing follow-up.
Our state-of-the-art treatment room is not just for skin cancers. We can remove skin lesions that are non-cancerous, and also offer liquid nitrogen cryotherapy. Our RN also does IV infusions such as iron, and IM injections like B12. Visit our Procedures page for more information.