John Rogers’ Story
SHI’s Skin Checks by Dermatologists program – John Rogers’ potentially lifesaving experience
Conscious of several moles on his legs, John was originally referred to the Skin Health Institute in 2020. Fortunately, those suspicious spots did not return any cause for concern at that time, however he was advised to undergo regular checks and make note of any changes in his skin.
Late last year, the Skin Health Institute launched the pilot program, ‘Skin Checks by Dermatologists’, that allowed anyone to book in for a skin check without the need for a referral.
Luckily, John was on our patient email list and our announcement did not go unnoticed. He had observed some change in colour to the spots on the back of his hands and made an appointment.
During John’s appointment, our consultant identified a mole on his right flank that he was unaware of. It was recommended for removal, which was subsequently done at the Institute. The biopsy proved positive to a melanoma.
According to the Melanoma Institute Australia patients whose melanoma was detected by their doctor during a routine skin check were 32% less likely to die from melanoma compared to patients who identified their own melanoma.
John describes his skin as having “a lot of moles, which in most cases have been there for a long time.” After the removal of the melanoma, he went to the Alfred Hospital and had a wide incision performed around the initial scar and is now on a program of having checks every 6 months.
Talking about the sun protection John used prior to his melanoma, he reckons he could “write a book.” From the age of 8, he spent all leisure time surfing, swimming, or fishing. “Coconut oil became fashionable in my teens and later we also discovered zinc cream which we used on our nose primarily motivated by the hope that it would stop the peeling.”
In recent years, John’s hobbies have been swimming and golf. “I regularly use sunscreen and the type has been consistent with the evolution of sunscreens from the initial 10 and 15 SPF factors to now I just use 50.”
John is monitoring his skin more closely these days, and as previously stated, he now always uses sunscreen but given his two leisure time activities. “I wear a shirt (SPF approved) more often at the beach. I always apply sunscreen before a golf game and carry sunscreen with me on the golf course.”
John notes that due to his experience, he would come back to SHI for any future skin concerns.
He also thanked us profusely for letting him know about ‘Skin Checks by Dermatologists’. “I had no knowledge that I had an issue but made an appointment which ultimately led to early detection of a melanoma and the removal thereof. Potentially lifesaving.”
We are continuing to take Expressions of Interest for our skin check program. If you are interested, you can fill out our form here. Due to demand, we are looking to increase the number of clinics; however, this is subject to consultant availability.