Skin checks for melanoma and other types of skin cancer at clinics or doctors’ offices are not performed regularly like checks for other types of cancer (e.g. pap smears for cervical cancer). Instead, they are performed when a person asks their doctor (e.g. because they notice a suspicious mole), or when a doctor identifies a patient that may require a skin check (e.g. someone who is at high risk because of their work and history). How often this should be done varies depending on the patient’s risk.
There are some people that are more likely to attend for a skin check. These include people with fair skin aged 40-49, those who have had skin cancer before and those who perceive they are personally at risk of skin cancer. People who ask their doctor for a skin check tend to have higher levels of education and often have concerns about suspicious skin changes which they identified through skin self-examination. General practitioners are often the first point of call for patients in need of skin examination and perform the majority of skin cancer checks.