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A small hand-held device known as a Dermatoscope is proving to be a valuable asset in the early detection of melanoma for patients visiting their doctor at Heywood Rural Health.

Funded through the United Way Glenelg Community Fund, a Dermatoscope enables doctors to view the surface of a patient’s skin microscopically to evaluate pigments in the skin, making it easier to diagnose melanoma.

Jacki Barnett, Community Health Hub Manager at Heywood Rural Health and Leonie Bartlett, Medical Clinic Practice Manager said, “ the aim is to detect the onset of melanoma in the early phases to minimize the risk of complications.”

“Already the equipment has proven to be valuable with 5 patients receiving early skin cancer diagnoses during routine GP visits.”

“Prior to purchasing a Dermatoscope, Heywood Rural Health struggled to provide patients with timely and efficient skin checks, the addition of the equipment will significantly enhance this process.” Ms Barnett said.

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Melanoma skin cancer has been predicted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, to be the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia in 2020, with 16,221 diagnosed melanoma cases being predicted.

United Way Glenelg Executive Officer, Nicole Carr, said the Deramatoscope would allow doctors to give accurate skin checks, without patients having to travel to specialists.

‘Technological advances mean that digital tools such as the Dermatoscope are assisting local doctors to achieve accurate skin cancer diagnoses at their earliest’ said Ms Carr

‘We congratulate the staff at Heywood Rural Health for providing this service to the community.’

The Dermatoscope is funded by United Way Glenelg Community Fund. If you would like to donate through your payroll to support individuals and families living in the Glenelg Shire to improve their quality of life go to or contact Nicole Carr on 0410 513 305.

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