The doctor has a look at your moles etc to see if they look suspect. Something that looks bad to you if often nothing and something that you think is fine could be something serious. It's good that you check yourself but it is important to go to a good doctor (there are doctors who specialise in skin cancer -eg the clinics (I don't know if Melbourne has them, a few of the chains have gone bust but there are some around still)- but a good GP is fine) once a year. The 'bad moles' are dark, irregularly shaped and may have changed size or shape quickly, however there are other ones which can be dangerous too. The doctor often uses a special light to look at them.
I was 20 when my suspect mole was cut out so it's good to start early (as I said it was benign but this means I may be susceptible in future). Some doctors will take photos of moles too for reference in later years, if yours doesn't it won't hurt to take an annual photo yourself.
Skin cancers can be treated by burning them off as Anne said, but if they are serious they will need to be cut out. If they are an advanced melanoma you may need radiation therapy too as the cancer can spread to you lymph nodes etc.
Very scary isn't it?
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Yes- I remember seeing a 60 Minutes special about it once- there was a man who had lost his whole arm and the cancer was still spreading. He died before the show went to air
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