Early Detection Strategies

Dedicated screening programs are not suitable for the early detection of all cancers but there are other ways to help detect cancer early.

Checking your skin

  • Queensland is the skin cancer capital of the world, so it’s important to be SunSmart all year round.
  • Check your skin regularly – and if you notice a new or existing spot that changes in size, shape or colour, see your GP or dermatologist as soon as possible.
  • Learn how to do a self skin examination

Self Skin Examination

Nearly all skin cancers can be cured if detected and treated early.

Skin cancers rarely hurt and are much more frequently seen than felt. It is important to develop a regular habit of checking your skin for new spots and changes to existing freckles or moles. Self examination can detect skin cancers in their early stages.


Some changes to look for include:

  • New moles;
  • Moles that increases in size;
  • An outline of a mole that becomes notched;
  • A spot that changes colour from brown to black or is varied;
  • A spot that becomes raised or develops a lump within it;
  • The surface of a mole becoming rough, scaly or ulcerated;
  • Moles that itch or tingle;
  • Moles that bleed or weep; or
  • Spots that look different from the others

Although you may notice some of these changes, it does not necessarily mean that you have skin cancer, however it is important that you see a health professional to have them investigated further.

More information

For diagrams and more specific information about checking your skin, read our Spot the difference brochure.

For more information call our Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

Early detection of prostate cancer

  • While prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australian men, the causes of prostate cancer are not fully understood.
  • There is also no single, simple test to detect prostate cancer. The prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test is often used, but does not always reliably indicate the presence of cancer.
  • Cancer Council Queensland recommends that you discuss your personal risk of prostate cancer and the risks and benefits of testing with a GP. This way you can make an informed decision about whether being tested for prostate cancer is right for you.

More information

For more information about early detection call Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

The information available on this page should not be used as a substitute for advice from a properly qualified medical professional who can advise you about your own individual medical needs. It is not intended to constitute medical advice and is provided for general information purposes only. See our Disclaimer.