Did You Know...

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Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in New Zealand.
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Over 4,000 people are diagnosed with Melanoma in New Zealand every year
- that's around 11 every day.
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About 500 New Zealanders die from skin cancer each year.
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New Zealand and Australia have the highest melanoma incidence rate in the world.
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Sunburn, especially in childhood, increases the risk of a melanoma developing in later life.
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Skin cancers include melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
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Most skin cancers can be cured with early diagnosis and treatment.
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The sooner skin cancers are detected the simpler the treatment.

For Peace of Mind, Request an Appointment Today

What Type of Skin Cancer is Most Serious?

The most serious form of skin cancer is melanoma.

What is Melanoma?

New Zealand and Australia have the highest melanoma incidence rate in the world. Over 4,000 people are diagnosed with Melanoma in New Zealand every year - that's around 11 every day. Malignant melanoma (often shortened to just 'melanoma') is a potentially fatal skin cancer that can be cured in most cases if it is diagnosed and treated early. Therefore, regular checking of the skin surface is essential.

Melanoma is the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of the skin's pigment cells (tanning cells).
Melanoma can develop as a new mole or from an existing mole.

Sunburn, especially in childhood, increases the risk of a melanoma developing in later life. However, melanoma sometimes occurs on areas of the body not normally exposed to the sun such as the eye, mouth, between the toes, or under a toenail.

The first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape or colour of a freckle or mole, or the appearance of a new spot on the skin. About 300 New Zealanders die from melanoma each year. The number of cases of melanoma in New Zealand has doubled in the past 30 years.

Melanoma can develop quite quickly.

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Doctor's dermoscopic view
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Doctor's dermoscopic view

What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)?

This skin cancer is usually found on sun-exposed parts of the skin surface. It is more common in people over 40. It looks like a crusty, non-healing sore and can be tender. Sometimes it just looks like  a thickened area.

It can sometimes spread to other parts of the body (in about 5% of cases), and particularly if it begins on an ear or lip. Any area on the lip or ear which remains unhealed for three weeks should be immediately reported. However if diagnosed and treated early, SCC can usually be cured.

Over 100 people die of squamous cell carcinoma every year in New Zealand. Squamous cell carcinoma is usually detected by the skin cancer doctor's clinical examination, rather than by a mole map. This is another important reason why patients should not rely on mole mapping alone.

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What is Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)?

It is the most common skin cancer (about three quarters of all skin cancers).

There are several different types of BCC. Some look like a small raised smooth lump, others like a non-healing sore, and yet others look like a pink, white or red patch, and can be quite difficult to see. BCC is the least dangerous type of skin cancer and is almost never a threat to life, but it still requires treatment. This is because it can spread locally - into muscles, bone and nerves, and may result in the loss of eyes, ears or noses.

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Doctor's dermoscopic view

How is melanoma diagnosed at the earliest possible curable stage - (i.e) before it can be seen with the naked eye?

Experienced, highly-trained Molecheck doctors use sophisticated, modern dermoscopy technology to identify the first subtle signs of melanoma beneath the skin surface.

The use of this technology in the hands of specially trained doctors, is the Molecheck advantage.

Using this technique, skin cancers can be detected earlier than with computerised images alone.

What happens during a Molecheck skin cancer doctor's examination?

The doctor will:

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Assess the appearance and the surface of the lesion.
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Skillfully use advanced dermoscopy technology to enable diagnosis before the cancer can be seen with the naked eye.
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Use dermoscopic computer imaging when required.

Follow-up appointments at an appropriate time period for your situation will be advised.

Book a Full Molecheck® Examination

Give yourself & your loved ones the peace of mind that any cancer will be detected at the earliest curable stage. No GP referral needed.

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Founder of Molecheck® & NZ
Board member of the
Dermoscopy Society
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Principal and Founder of Molecheck® Dr David Langford, is New Zealand’s only doctor on the Board of the International Dermoscopy Society. He is internationally recognised for his expertise in skin cancer and melanoma diagnosis.