Preventing skin cancer

skin cancer check

The Australian sun radiates strong UV rays, exposure to which can lead to skin cancer and skin damage. These UV rays generate the production of free radicals which create unstable oxygen molecules that cause inflammation and damage the cells function and your skin’s DNA. 

“DNA damage can cause changes in your genes called mutations that lead to skin cancer.”(1)

Melanomas can develop suddenly at any age, and within Australia we have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.
 Early recognition and accurate diagnosis of skin cancer is imperative to its successful treatment. Some really great questions to ask yourself in regards to your skin health are: 

  • Do I know what skin cancer is and what it looks like? 
  • How can I monitor my skin to help to prevent it? 
  • When was my last skin examination and check-up?

What skin cancer is and what it looks like? 

There is no specific thing that you can look for but ASCP (Advanced Skin Cancer Practice) recommends a SCAN guide.

  1. Sore – is the spot sore? Does it take longer than 6 weeks to heal?
  2. Changing – is the spot changing in size, shape or colour?
  3. Abnormal – does the spot look or feel different when compared to other spots? Does it stand out as being of concern?
  4. New – is it a new spot on your body? (2)

How can I monitor my skin to help to prevent it?

Regular self-check skin reviews are recommended along with a yearly full skin examination by an experienced skin cancer doctor. You may need more frequent skin examination if you are at higher risk of developing skin cancer so the frequency of your recommended skin examinations is discussed with your skin doctor at the time of the consultation.

When was my last skin examination and check-up?

If it was over a year ago you should get checked now. Mullumbimby Comprehensive Health Centre now has a dedicated skin clinic complete with skin cancer diagnosis and treatment facilities 
with specialised equipment and two purpose built treatment rooms.

We have a highly trained and accredited Skin Cancer Practitioner and General Practitioners that offer comprehensive skin checks, utilising digital mole monitoring technology, early skin cancer detection and all skin cancer treatment and surgery within the same clinic. We also offer management of skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and rashes. 

Advanced Skin Cancer Practice now also offers consultations at the clinic, with specialist plastic surgeon Dr Isolde Hertess and GP Dr Michael Stapelberg, who bring the unique combination of skin cancer practitioner and easily accessible specialist plastic and reconstructive services within the same clinic.

Health funds and Medicare rebates are available when indicated.

Please call our reception on (02) 6684 1511 to book your skin check now. 



Meet our skin clinic team

Dr Michael Stapelberg accredited skin cancer doctor & GP 

Michael is an accredited skin cancer and general practitioner, focusing on the diagnosis and management of skin cancer and general practice dermatology. With extensive training in skin cancer medicine and dermatology, Michael is passionate about supporting skin health.

Qualifications include; BSc Hons I Anatomy (QLD), MBBS, PhD Dermatology (SYD), Dip Prac Dermatology (CARDIFF), FRACGP, ACCSCMS, ACCD (Skin Cancer College Australasia). 

Dr Annette Beisenherz GP

Annette is a trained Skin Cancer and General Practitioner. Her focus is on skin cancer screening, and skin cancer prevention advice. Annette uses dermoscopy in skin cancer detection, as well as digital mole monitoring as needed. 

She has undergone Skin Cancer training with Health Cert, including a Professional Diploma in Dermoscopy, which is recognised by the International Dermoscopy Society, the Skin Cancer Institute and accredited by RACGP. She has performed skin cancer screening throughout NSW and has over  20 years experience as a GP with skin cancer interest.

Dr Dunstan Thompson MBBCH. MRCGP. FRACGP

Dr Dunstan Thompson has been a local GP for 14 years, previously practicing at Ocean Shores Skin Cancer Clinic, Tweed Heads and Ballina Skin Cancer Clinics. He’s worked in general practice and skin cancer across northern NSW, as well at Byron Bay and Murwillumbah Hospital Emergency Departments. Dr Thompson trained in Cardiff, Wales, and first worked in the UK and Africa. He’s a Member and Fellow of The Royal College of General Practice in the UK and in Australia respectively and is also a Member of The Australian Skin Cancer College.

With a special interest in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, he is experienced in skin grafts and flaps and has worked with a plastic surgeon for 10 years. He is committed to ongoing education and exams in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment through the Australian Skin Cancer College. He is very thorough, has a pleasant manner, and is an excellent diagnostician and surgeon. He makes personal phone calls for results of suspicious lesions and discusses cases with colleagues, Pathologists and Dermatologists.

Please call our reception on (02) 6684 1511 to book your skin check now. 



If you need a doctor urgently outside of our opening hours please call Byron District Hospital on 6639 9400.

For emergencies call 000 for an ambulance.

Urgent Care Clinic

On the day appointments are available by calling the surgery from 8am onwards until slots are filled. We recommend calling early to secure an appointment.

Opening Hours

Medical Centre
Monday – Friday: 8.30 – 17.00
Saturday: 8.30 – 11.30

Allied Health
Monday – Friday: 8.30 – 17.00
Saturday: 8.30 – 11.30