A specialist skin cancer clinic has opened in Port Stephens as a timely reminder to all residents - regardless of their age or skin tone - to get regular check-ups and to be sun smart this summer.
The Port Stephens Skin Cancer Clinic opened its doors on December 2 in Ferodale Road, Medowie (near the Post Office), operated by Dr Anna Brummitt and Glenn Brummitt, who also run the Maitland Skin Cancer Clinic.
"Our Maitland office is open seven days a week and is regularly booked out solid so we saw the need for another clinic in Port Stephens," Mr Brummitt said.
"What makes our clinic different is that we have four doctors who are all accredited skin cancer specialists who practice in professional skin checks, including surgical and non-surgical treatments, with no referrals required."
Dr Brummitt said that Australia had one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, predominantly caused by exposure to UV radiation, either from sun, solariums, or workplace hazards, even while driving.
"Some of the significant risk factors include sun burns, time spent outdoors and family history of melanoma. The three areas to watch out for are changes in colour or size of moles, the presence of lesions that don't heal and crusty painful lumps," she said.
"Early detection is most important, in fact it could mean the difference between life and death. This is why it is important that people who fall in those risk factors get regular checks... at least once a year."
Dr Brummitt said that having skin checked was a quick and painless process.
"Checks typically take around 15 minutes during which the doctor may examine any lesions you have with a dermascope," she said.
"The doctor may also image lesions during this process or request a biopsy, once your check is complete you will be contacted with the results.
"If required, the doctor may request a follow up booking to excise a lesion and all excisions are carried out at our clinic."
She said that skin protection remained a high priority, particularly in areas such as Port Stephens due to its great outdoor attractions around sun, sea and sand.
"We recommend that locals use sunscreen with a factor protection of 50+ and re-apply regularly particularly after swimming, and wear protective clothing. A UV index of 3 or greater requires use of sunscreen even on cloudy days. Wear protective clothing, try to avoid sitting in direct sunlight, and try to avoid the sun between the hours of 10am and 3pm where UV intensity is greatest."
The Medowie clinic has installed a state-of-the-art Plexr Plus (plasma) machine to remove benign moles without the need for needles, thus avoiding stitches or scarring.
"Plexr Plus provides advanced treatment applications for some of the most frequent client aesthetic and dermatological concerns, including fine lines and wrinkles; lax, sagging skin; drooping eyelids; superficial and cystic acne; skin tags; moles and pigmented lesions; acne and atrophic scarring; hypertrophic scarring; and cherry angiomas," Dr Brummit said.
For bookings phone (02) 4009 9900.
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