Skin cancer

Red flags

Mark referral urgent for patients with the following

  • Histologically proven melanoma
  • Histologically proven BCC with nerve/blood vessel involvement
  • Histologically proven SCC with nerve/blood vessel involvement
  • Any skin cancer with lymph node spread or distant organ spread refer urgently to General Surgery

All patients with red flags will usually be categorised Cat 1.

Conditions covered in this category are:

  • Melanoma
    • Melanoma-in-situ
  • Basal cell cancer (BCC)
  • Squamous cell cancer (SCC)
  • Merkel cell tumours

Other important information for referring practitioners

Lifestyle changes

  • Advise re sun avoidance and sun block use
  • Advise patients on care of the skin and encourage yearly skin checks
  • Advise on early signs of skin cancer

Medical management

  • Arrange yearly skin checks for at risk groups
  • Maintain regular examinations for patients previously diagnosed with melanoma
  • Provide advice regarding appearance of suspicious lesions
  • Biopsy suspicious lesions before referral unless obviously melanoma

Referral requirements

A referral may be rejected without the following information.

  • Presence of any Red Flags
  • Reason for referral
  • Relevant clinical history
    • Description of lesion
    • Site
    • Speed of growth
    • Evidence of any spread including nerve or blood vessel involvement
  • Detailed medication history including any allergy
  • Any relevant histology (do not perform punch biopsy if melanoma is suspected)

Additional referral information (useful for processing the referral)

  • Diagram or photograph of lesion
  • Any relevant blood tests relevant to co-morbidities
    • Important if Level 3/4 melanoma
  • CXR if level 3/4 melanoma

Out of catchment

Metro North Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service. If your patient lives outside the Metro North Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.

  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can’t order, or the patient can’t afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary
  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc.)

Send referral

Hotline: 1300 364 938

Fax: 1300 364 952

Electronic: eReferral system

Mail: Metro North Central Patient Intake
Aspley Community Centre
776  Zillmere Road

Health pathways

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