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Cancer Council SA has awarded grants to 30 South Aussie GPs to receive a fully funded dermatoscope to help detect skin cancer early and save lives.

A dermatoscope is a specialised microscope for the skin, which allows doctors to look more closely at spots on the skin. This improves early detection of skin cancer, resulting in more lives saved and less unnecessary procedures.

Cancer Council SA’s Dermoscopy Grant provides GPs in locations around South Australia where there is a higher rate of skin cancer, including regional areas, with the knowledge and tools to help identify skin cancer and improve outcomes in these communities.

Dr Nevin Gabra, a general practitioner at Pasadena Medical Centre is one of the recipients of Cancer Council SA’s Dermoscopy Grants and says since receiving the dermatoscope in December, she has used it every day.

“The dermatoscope helps us to take a closer look at spots that may be of concern. Something that may look concerning to the naked eye, can be totally benign when we see it under the dermatoscope. On the other hand, we can catch dangerous spots early while they’re still small and haven’t spread,” Dr Gabra said.

“It has helped us to save time and save money and save the patient from having any unnecessary, invasive procedures.”

Cancer Council SA Prevention and Advocacy Manager Christine Morris said skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, with two in three Australians diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70.

“In 2020, 860 South Australians were diagnosed with melanoma, and we know that regional South Australians have a higher chance of developing melanoma compared to those who live in metropolitan areas,” Christine said.

“That’s why it’s important that GPs in high-risk communities receive up to date training and resources to detect skin cancer early.”

“We hope that this program will help to save South Australian lives.”

Cancer Council SA recommends checking your whole body regularly for changes to any existing spots such as size, shape, colour or texture; and any sores that itch, bleed, or don’t heal. If you notice any changes, see your GP immediately.

You can learn more and view the full list of GPs and practices who have been awarded Cancer Council SA’s Dermoscopy Grant here.