Help­ing beat skin can­cer

Doc­tor says early de­tec­tion vi­tal

Isis Town and Country - - Opinion -

SKIN can­cer is one of the most com­mon causes of death in Aus­tralia but ex­perts have re­vealed that if de­tected early, treat­ment can be much more ef­fec­tive.

Grace Fam­ily Prac­tice and Skin Care prin­ci­pal Dr Preshy Vargh­ese said peo­ple need to check their skin reg­u­larly for any changes while ex­am­i­na­tions by a doc­tor who spe­cialises in skin can­cer could be cru­cial.

“Spe­cialised equip­ment like Der­mo­scope is a very good mea­sure in pre­vent­ing some skin can­cers from spread­ing to the liver, lungs and brain,” he said.

“The sad part about skin can­cer is that it can oc­cur in any age group even though risk in­creases with age.”

Dr Vargh­ese said other risk fac­tors in­clude a pre­vi­ous history of skin can­cers or a fam­ily history of skin can­cers, Cau­casian with white skin and red hair, those who have lot of ex­po­sure to sun­light or so­lar­i­ums, those who have more than 10 ab­nor­mal look­ing moles (dys­plas­tic moles).

“An­nual skin checks are rec­om­mended for those who are in high-risk cat­e­gory while sun pro­tec­tion is very im­por­tant to pre­vent skin can­cers,” he said.

Dr Vargh­ese said the best sun pro­tec­tion is to avoid direct sun­light be­tween 10am and 4pm, wear ful­l­length cloth­ing, ap­ply sun­screen lo­tions of at least SPF30 and to wear wide-brim hats and sun­glasses.

Dr Vargh­ese es­tab­lished the Grace Skin and Vein Cen­tre in Bund­aberg af­ter de­vel­op­ing an in­ter­est in der­ma­tol­ogy, skin can­cer medicine and vari­cose vein treat­ment. Ini­tially trained as a gen­eral sur­geon in the UK where he com­pleted his fel­low­ship with the Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons, Dr Vargh­ese moved to Aus­tralia where he earned his fel­low­ship with the Royal Aus­tralian Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­tice.

He also com­pleted a Mas­ters in Skin Can­cer Medicine at the Univer­sity of Queens­land and a Diploma in Der­moscopy at the Skin Can­cer Col­lege Aus­trala­sia.

“I am proud to not only be one of the ac­cred­ited skin can­cer doc­tors by Skin Can­cer Col­lege of Aus­trala­sia, but to also have my Diploma of Der­ma­tol­ogy and be a cer­ti­fied scle­rother­a­pist by Aus­tralian Col­lege of Ph­le­bol­ogy,” he said.

“I started Grace Skin and Vein Cen­tre as a pur­pose­built clinic for the ad­vanced di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment of skin can­cer and also ad­vanced treat­ment of vari­cose veins.

“The clinic has fa­cil­i­ties for screen­ing of var­i­ous skin can­cers in­clud­ing melanomas, squa­mous cell car­ci­no­mas and basal cell car­ci­no­mas with the help of a com­put­erised skin-scan­ning ma­chine (Der­mdoc).

“The clinic also has the ser­vices of Dr Chris The­lander who also has ad­vanced train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence in skin can­cer surgery.

“With a spe­cial in­ter­est in head and neck skin can­cer surg­eries, Dr The­lander has un­der­gone train­ing in gen­eral and plas­tic surgery.”

PHOTO: PAUL BEU­TEL

CHECK IT OUT: Dr Preshy Vargh­ese from the Grace Skin and Vein Cen­tre at Bund­aberg

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