18 October 2016

Standards introduced

Standards introduced

Screening and diagnosing skin cancer, and melanoma, is an important area of continued research in New Zealand. In 2013, a national melanoma tumour standards working group, produced a provisional set of diagnostic and treatment guidelines for doctors. This was done in order to ensure patients receive a consistent standard of care throughout our country. While these standards are yet to be implemented, we believe they are important to be aware of.

  • Risk factors should be identified to all patients: age, prior melanoma or skin cancer, sun damage and/or large moles. This does not mean that if you do not fall into these categories, you should be any less vigilant with your skin checks.
  • Skin examination techniques should be taught, annual skin checks advised for at risk patients and if you have a lot of moles, digital dermatoscopy is recommended.
  • All primary doctors should be trained to recognise skin lesions that could be melanoma.
  • Patient risk factors should be estimated by doctors, and a base line skin reading identified for the patient.
  • Those who have an increased risk of melanoma, should be indentified. Ongoing management should include logging of mole numbers and 'unusual' moles.

At the Da Vinci Clinic, our team of medical specialists which includes Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons, assisted by specialist nurses, are well placed to care for you and your skins needs - from diagnosis through to treatment and all associated care.