A patient has his back checked.
A patient has his back checked. Alexander Raths

Bundy skin cancer centre welcomes new rival

WITH THE weather already heating back up and the start to summer only a few months away, questions have been raised about the availability of Bundaberg's skin cancer specialists.

It's possible Bundaberg will see another skin cancer care and treatment clinic.

The new clinic was proposed by Dr Charles Blair for a Barlin Street address, hoping to start accepting patients early next year.

While most General Practitioners will check patients skin, they often don't have the specialised equipment of dedicated clinics.

A Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service spokesperson said yesterday that Wide Bay and Queensland as a whole had a higher than national average rate of melanomas and other skin cancers.

"According to the Cancer Council Queensland, 218 people in Wide Bay are diagnosed with melanoma each year,” the spokesperson said.

"On average there are 28 deaths a year in Wide Bay due to melanoma.”

The spokesperson said if a skin check identified a concern, healthcare providers would refer patients to a Wide Bay Hospital.

"If a skin cancer risk is identified at the specialist outpatient appointment, patients are placed on the elective surgery list for a procedure,” the spokesperson said, adding that surgery waiting times were determined by clinical urgency.

Dr Breshy Varghese is a skin specialist at Grace Skin & Vein Centre, one of only two skin specialist clinics in Bundaberg.

Grace Skin & Vein Centre has four specialist doctors, who see between 10 and 15 patients daily, Dr Varghese said yesterday.

Because the time spent with each patient varied greatly depending on the amount of checking required, Dr Varghese said the clinic was typically very busy.

"My waiting time is at least two months,” Dr Varghese said.

When asked about the feasibility of another clinic coming to Bundaberg to assist with the number of patients, Dr Varghese welcomed another clinic to take the pressure off.

"Any new clinics are more than welcome,” he said.

Melanoma of the skin was estimated as the third-most common cancer type in both men and women for 2019 by a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.



Man jailed after running red lights and crashing car

premium_icon Man jailed after running red lights and crashing car

THINGS came to a crashing halt for a man in October when he crashed his car after...

Sky News rolls out program to keep our region informed

Sky News rolls out program to keep our region informed

Peter Gleeson leads new regional Sky News program.

Revving up the spirit of Christmas

premium_icon Revving up the spirit of Christmas

THEY rode from Bargara to Bundaberg to spread some Christmas cheer for a good...