Question: I’m a 60-year-old woman with no previous history of skin cancer. I have spent quite a lot of time in the sun playing sport and gardening over the years and until recently had no concerns about my skin. However, a few months ago a small but raised growth has appeared on my nose, it’s pinkish in colour and you can see blood vessels inside it. Every now and then it bleeds and scabs over but doesn’t completely heal. Is this something I should be concerned about? Or is it likely to go away on its own with time?
What you’ve described is likely to be a basal cell cancer or BCC. It’s very important that you get this spot checked as soon as possible by a doctor or skin cancer specialist, as they can be highly disfiguring if allowed to continue to grow and it is important that they are removed at the earliest stage possible. BCCs are the most common form of skin cancer in New Zealand and 80% are found on the head and neck, which are areas that receive the most sun exposure. BCCs often look like red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, open sores or scars.
As we get older, the risk of developing a BCC greatly increases, so, particularly for New Zealanders over the age 50, it becomes even more important to get your skin checked annually.
MoleMan is a full service mole and skin cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment facility in Northcote Point. Their skin cancer doctors can map and identify skin cancers on the spot, as well as provide any necessary surgery, treatment and follow-up care. The team at MoleMan aims to provide exceptional patient care, at an affordable price, in a warm, welcoming and friendly environment.
Chief MoleMan, Dr Grant Coe, has had extensive experience in skin cancer screening and surgery, both in New Zealand and Australia, and answers questions as well as sharing advice, tips and information each month in Channel Magazine.
Call the MoleMan team today to enquire about full body skin cancer and melanoma checks with digital dermoscopy (mole mapping) technology on 0800 DR MOLE (376653) or 09 480 6416 or visit www.moleman.co.nz for pricing and frequently asked questions. Dr Coe is also an affiliated provider to Southern Cross for skin cancer surgery and selected services.