The Australian medical community support a mixed population, although significantly of northern European descent. The increasing issues they have with melanoma are close to those found in the UK.
In Australia, they see 14,000 melanoma cases annually, compared to 16,000 in the UK, mortality rates are comparable at around 13%. Their approach to melanoma, particularly to screening and early detection is similar.
In late 2018, they published significant, evidence based clinical guidelines, on melanoma detection and monitoring for those at higher risk. This brought in data from controlled trials, diagnostic accuracy studies and much more.
Conclusions & Recommendations
A multidisciplinary team of ten specialists highlighted the dangers of undiagnosed melanoma and requirements for screening:
- Ensuring that clinicians providing initial diagnosis are fully trained in dermoscopy.
- Using short and long term sequential digital dermoscopy, to meet individual need.
- Offering total body imaging, to patients at increased risk of developing melanoma.
- Considering the use of confocal microscopy, even though not widely available.
The objective was to ensure an effective strategy for reducing melanoma related mortality and the level of treatment required in all cases. This included detecting melanomas which lack standard diagnostic features.
As one of the more notable studies carried out in recent times, we logically wished to compare recommendations with our own approach and facilities.
Skin Care Network Clinics
All our skin cancer consultants are trained and experienced in dermoscopy, they help to train, or inform other doctors. Our dermoscopic facilities are advanced and include regular use of sequential digital dermoscopy.
Both our London clinics offer total body imaging in a variety of forms. This includes being one of the few providers of total body polarised dermoscopy, which is particularly suited to melanoma detection.
Our adoption of confocal microscopy was the first in a UK private clinic and remains rare. Apart from being a valuable tool in itself, this can often eliminate the need for diagnostic, surgical biopsies.
The researchers commented on the demonstrated cost effectiveness of good screening in high risk patients, along with the lack of this within the Australian Medicare system. To a degree, the same applies in the UK.
As one of the UKs leading private skin cancer clinics, we are pleased to see that our facilities go beyond research recommendations. Part of our belief in the vital need to detect melanoma symptoms at an early stage.
Our team also wish to ensure people are well informed on melanoma, you may find the links below useful:
- Melanoma in the UK – An overview of where we are, symptom management and a few myths dispelled.
- Total Body Dermoscopy – A state of the art combination of body imaging and digital dermoscopy.
- Mole Screening & Melanoma – A complete view of moles, your health and options such as mole mapping.
- Confocal Microscopy – A digital, laser based system, able to look beneath the surface of your skin.
- Melanoma Treatment – Beyond personal screening and detection, specialist treatment can be required.
- Lentigo Maligna Treatment – The techniques used to diagnose and cure a type of early stage, superficial melanoma.
Our skin cancer treatment section also carries details on a number of screening programs, how we integrate services and the procedures during visits. Or contact our friendly staff at any time for advice.