Skin Cancer/Skin Lesion

Emergency referrals

All urgent cases must be discussed with the on call Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Registrar. Contact through Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (07) 3646 8111 to obtain appropriate prioritisation and treatment.

Urgent cases accepted via phone must be accompanied with a written referral and a copy faxed immediately to the Central Patient Intake Unit: 1300 364 952.

Does your patient wish to be referred?

Minimum referral criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1

Appointment within 30 days is desirable

  • skin lesion highly suspicious for melanoma or excision biopsy proven melanoma
  • rapidly growing skin lesions especially on the face
  • complex non-melanoma skin malignancies and any of the following:
    • ulceration and bleeding
    • rapidly enlarging
    • neurological involvement
    • lymphadenopathy
    • poorly differentiated or infiltrative tumour on biopsy
  • other subcutaneous and deep tissue malignancies e.g. Merkel cell carcinoma
  • skin lesion causing substantial obstruction to vision
  • suspicion of malignant liposarcoma
  • Confirmed SCC
  • Prior malignancy at the same site

Category 2

Appointment within 90 days is desirable

  • Uncomplicated non melanoma skin malignancies (BCC/SCC/IEC)
  • Skin lesions with any of the following:
    • causing functional problems or significant disfigurement
    • diameter exceeds ≥ 5cm in size or rapid growth over short period of time
    • significant persistent pain that is not solely pressure related
    • fixed to deep tissues, i.e. muscle or fascia
    • recurring after a previous excision
    • prone to recurrent infection
    • diagnosis in doubt or needs confirmation

Category 3

Appointment within 365 days is desirable

  • Benign soft tissue lesions e.g. lipoma, ganglion not suitable for primary health management
  • Clinically significant benign lesion

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

Consider other treatment pathways or an alternative diagnosis.

If you still need to refer your patient:

  • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
  • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service

Other important information for referring practitioners

Not an exhaustive list

  • Advise patient regarding sun avoidance and use of sun screens
  • Educate patient on skin cancer surveillance and arrange annual skin checks

Referral requirements

A referral may be rejected without the following information.

  • Features of pigmented lesions: size, shape, colour, inflammation, oozing, change in sensation
  • Biopsy results unless clinically contraindicated – excision biopsy is the preferred method for suspected melanoma
  • Smoking status
  • History of anticoagulant therapy

Additional referral information (useful for processing the referral)

  • Photograph – with patient’s consent, where secure image transfer, identification and storage is possible
  • USS lesion result (for a suspicious lipoma)

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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