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Skin Cancer Clinics under the Scanner

Australian specialists say that some skin cancer clinics are indulging in unnecessary removal of moles which are harmless, but miss some genuine // melanoma cases. Plastic surgeons as well as dermatologists say that some cases have had questionable procedures that have left ugly scars.

In an article appearing in The Medical Journal of Australia, these procedures are put into perspective by saying that it is a spin-off of the "GPs versus specialists" argument, "At least some of this debate seems to be vested in professional self-interest, rather than a dispassionate consideration of what is best for the patient," the authors write. David Wilkinson, the chief of University of Queensland's medical school says that better accreditation measures, improved training as well as research was needed to ensure that skin cancer clinics catered to the urgent and necessary needs of the patients. "As skin cancer clinics are … not general practices, they cannot be accredited through the mechanisms that apply to Australian general practice," the article continues. It is estimated that many clinics advertise specialist services, but most doctors working in them are GPs. The authors of this report want the Federal Government to take some steps to see that skin cancer clinics are standardized.

In another article in the same journal, it is revealed that non-melanoma skin cancer is the country's bane with two in 100 Australians getting treated for the basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in 2002.

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