Is a skin check an essential service?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all with various stages of lockdown and restrictions to control the virus. People’s concern about unnecessary movement within the community and avoiding risk of virus exposure has seen significant reduction in patient visitations at GP practices. Of greater concern is the greater than 30% reduction in notifications of new cancer diagnoses to the various state cancer registries around the country. This suggests that people simply aren’t going to their doctor to get symptoms assessed like they would have pre-COVID, unfortunately that will mean that they will eventually present with more advanced disease down the track which will likely impact on their prognosis. Cancer won’t wait for COVID to be eliminated!
Skin checks are considered an essential service, with the Victorian Government exempting procedures for cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. Like all cancers, skin cancer treatments are always more effective with improved outcomes with the earliest possible diagnosis. So, if you have a suspicious spot or mole you can seek care under the current health orders without getting in trouble.
Total Body Photography is one of the services that we have put on hold at Skin Screen Clinic during the current pandemic. While strict infection control protocols are in place following our COVID-Safe plan, including social distancing, hand hygiene, wearing of masks and limitation of visitors in our clinic, the longer consultation duration to capture images of all spots over the body to track any changes over time can be postponed until the restrictions are lifted.
If you notice a new spot, or an existing spot or mole that changes shape, size or colour, you should see a doctor to get it checked out. At Skin Screen Clinic, we continue to offer skin checks by our GP and recommend anyone with a suspicious spot or mole to book in and get the lesion assessed.