Skin cancer screening

Early detection of skin cancer is the best way to achieve the best outcome. Detecting skin cancer early through screening means it can usually be treated with less invasive procedures.

Regular screening is recommended for individuals with a higher risk of developing skin cancer, such as those with fair skin, excessive sun exposure, lots of moles, a history of sunburns, a personal or family history of skin cancer, or on medications which weaken the immune system. 

1. Visual inspection: A general skin examination is undertaken by your consultant who is highly skilled in identifying suspicious growths or moles.

2. Dermoscopy: A dermatoscope is a handheld device that uses magnification and light to examine the skin in more detail. It helps to identify subtle signs of skin cancer that may not be visible to the naked eye.

  • Assesses moles and skin lesions in detail
  • Non-invasive 
  • Effective skin cancer diagnosis tool

Learn more about dermoscopy

3. Mole mapping: If you have a large number of moles, or have moles which look unusual, have had skin cancer or have a family history of skin cancer, mole mapping may be recommended.

At Belfast Skin Clinic, we have Northern Ireland’s only private full-body mole scanner. This allows us to not only assess deeper structures within your skin that aren’t visible to the naked eye but also map and monitor your moles for any changes over time. 

  • State-of-the-art full-body mole scanner
  • Detects changes in deeper skin structures
  • Repeat  mole monitoring assists with the early detection of skin cancer

Learn more about mole scanning

4. Biopsy: If any suspicious areas are found, a biopsy may be required. This involves removing a small sample of the skin, after numbing it first with an injection of local anaesthetic. The tissue removed is sent to a pathology laboratory for examination under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous.

  • Performed using local anaesthetic 
  • Return home the same day
  • Accurate results with a personalised treatment plan

Learn more about biopsies

5. Excision: Your consultant may decide to have the whole lesion removed (excised) and sent for pathology.  

6. Imaging techniques: In some cases scans such as ultrasound are required to give more information about the nature and depth of a growth. 

Duration: The duration of your skin cancer screening will depend on the amount of sun damage and number of moles you have.  Cost: from £280 for consultation, from £220 for mole mapping 

Request a callback or make an online enquiry for more information

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Benefits of skin cancer screening

Undergoing regular skin cancer screening with Belfast Skin Clinic can provide you with several benefits. It can provide:

  • Identification of precancerous lesions
  • Early detection and treatment of skin cancer
  • Diagnosis before the cancer has spread or advanced
  • Peace of mind
  • Improved understanding of how your skin normally looks to spot changes more easily
  • Analysis of hard-to-see areas of your body

Skin cancer treatments at Belfast Skin Clinic

If skin cancer is detected during screening, various treatment options may be recommended based on the type, stage and location of the cancer.

Treatment options include:

  • Excisional surgery 
  • Mohs surgery
  • Topical medications
  • Cryotherapy 
  • Photodynamic therapy 

Learn more about our skin cancer treatments

FAQs

If you would like to know more about skin cancer screening, listed below are some of our most frequently asked questions.

Who is eligible for skin cancer screening?

We do not have any age restrictions for our skin cancer screening as skin cancer can affect anyone. For mole mapping, it is recommended that adult height has been reached.

How often should I get screened for skin cancer?

The frequency depends on individual risk factors. Your dermatologist will assess your skin and make recommendations for you.

What can I do to prevent skin cancer?

  • Protect your skin from UV radiation
  • Undertake regular self-skin examinations once a month
  • Avoid artificial tanning machines

About Belfast Skin Clinic

At Belfast Skin Clinic, we’re dedicated to providing you with access to highly skilled consultants who are recognised experts in their specialities. Our experienced medical team (made up of consultant dermatologists, plastic surgeons, vascular surgeons, and rheumatologists) use the latest technology (where appropriate) to provide you with an accurate diagnosis to ensure you receive the right treatment for your needs. They are aided by our dedicated team of nurses. Our aesthetic team of practitioners complement medical and surgical services so we can offer treatment for every skin concern. 

We welcome all patients, both self-funded and privately insured, as well as patients from the Republic of Ireland using the Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NIPHS)

Our Dermatologists

Dr Olivia Dolan

Consultant Dermatologist

Dr John Mckenna

Consultant Dermatologist

Dr Collette McCourt

Consultant Dermatologist

Dr Suzanne Clements

Consultant Dermatologist

Dr Samiya Rahman

Consultant Dermatologist

Dr Nicola Cooke

Consultant Dermatologist

Dr Ronan Brennan

Consultant Dermatologist