Your health care team
If you notice any changes to your skin, there are a number of health professionals you can see.
Learn more about:
You will be referred to a dermatologist or surgeon if necessary.
This is a specialist doctor who diagnoses and treats skin conditions, including skin cancer. They can perform general and cosmetic surgery and prescribe topical treatments.
Some skin cancers are treated by specialised surgeons:
- surgical oncologists can manage complex skin cancers, including those that have spread to the lymph nodes
- plastic surgeons are trained in complex reconstructive techniques for more difficult to treat areas such as the nose, lips, eyelids and ears.
|When you make an appointment to see a dermatologist or surgeon, ask about the cost and how much will be refunded by Medicare. If there is a waiting list and there is a spot on your skin of particular concern, your GP can request an earlier appointment.
Many public hospitals in large cities have dermatology outpatient clinics that provide treatment for free. Your GP can refer you. In areas without a dermatologist, you may be able to see a surgeon or a visiting dermatologist.
Treats cancer by prescribing and coordinating the course of radiation therapy.
Skin cancer clinics offer a variety of services and fee arrangements. They are usually operated by GPs who have an interest in skin cancer. Research shows that clinics may not offer a higher level of skill than your GP. In deciding whether to attend a skin clinic, consider the following points:
- the qualifications and experience of the medical staff – this includes whether they are members of a professional association related to treating skin cancer
- what you will have to pay – some clinics bulk-bill for the initial consultation but require up-front payment for further appointments or surgery (which may not be subsidised by Medicare); others require up-front payment for all appointments
- the range of services offered
- the follow-up provided.
Cancer Council does not operate or recommend any skin cancer clinics, and does not recommend particular specialists.
Prof Diona Damian, Dermatologist, The University of Sydney at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Associate, Melanoma Institute of Australia, NSW; Dr Annie Ho, Radiation Oncologist, Genesis Care, Macquarie University, St Vincent’s and Mater Hospitals, NSW; Rebecca Johnson, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Melanoma Institute of Australia, NSW; Shannon Jones, SunSmart Health Professionals Coordinator, Cancer Council Victoria; Liz King, Skin Cancer Prevention Manager, Cancer Council NSW; Roslyn McCulloch, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Paige Preston, Policy Advisor, Cancer Prevention, Health and Wellbeing, Cancer Council Queensland; Dr Michael Wagels, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.