Regional GPs leave no spot unchecked to protect locals from skin cancer

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SunSmart has kicked off the 2022 Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program in partnership with the Australasian College of Dermatologists providing practical dermoscopy training to equip Bendigo based GPs with skills to check skin for melanoma and other skin cancers.

In response to renewed demand for skin checks following the coronavirus pandemic, SunSmart is encouraging more GPs to participate in training and offer advice to patients about getting to know their skin to ensure potentially harmful changes are identified early.

Bendigo GP of 16 years Dr. Sheriden Emonson said one of the invisible knock-on effects of the pandemic was her community maintaining their skin checks.

“People put off visiting their GP during peak covid times and the lockdowns. Now we’re getting a backlog of people returning to their routine skin checks and seeking out advice on new or changing spots on their skin that they avoided dealing with for the last couple of years,” Dr. Emonson said.

As a participant of SunSmart’s 2022 Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program, Dr. Emonson said the training helped her feel more confident and upskilled in the area.

“Dermoscopy is an area of expertise that GPs often lack extensive knowledge, understanding, and clinical training in, and the program is ensuring that [especially]regional GPs are given the education they need to service their community.”

Head of SunSmart, Heather Walker said the Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program seeks to provide GPs across the state with the skills needed to detect skin cancer early and accurately.

“We know that health professionals play an important role in the prevention, detection and management of skin cancer that can help save lives,” Ms Walker said.

“Funded by Cancer Council Victoria and the Victorian Government, the program has trained nearly 400 GPs across the state since it started in 2018.

“By providing opportunities for GPs to build their skills and knowledge, they can share more advice about skin cancer prevention and early detection.

“It is vital that we all work together to ensure our community knows how they can detect changes to their skin to minimise the harm caused by skin cancer”.

“The best way to ensure skin cancer is found early is to get to know your skin and what’s normal for you.

“While we’re constantly rugged up during winter, it’s important to regularly check your skin. Any changes including new spots, or changes in shape, colour or size of an existing spot should be checked by your GP,” Ms Walker said.

To learn more about Dermoscopy for Victorian General Practice Program, and for practice resources, visit Skin cancer resources for health professionals – SunSmart.

Source: SunSmart


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