Information for Patients

The role of the WA Kirkbride Melanoma Advisory Service (WAKMAS) is to provide information and advice to you and your doctor about your melanoma and its management.

Patients with melanoma may experience a variety of problems and may need to consult a number of different specialists. WAKMAS allows people with melanoma to have their problems assessed by a panel of specialists who meet together in order to determine how best to deal with their particular condition. The service provides patients with the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns with specialists who have expertise in melanoma management.

Due to an increasing number of patient referrals and in response to Covid-19, WAKMAS now offers the following patient clinic review pathway.

Following referral to WAKMAS by your GP or specialist your referral wil be triaged by the WAKMAS team and you will be contacted regarding clinic review, if applicable.

Where is the clinic?

We are located in the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research at QEII Medical Centre. Please come to main reception and the concierge will notify us of your arrival.

Parking is available in the nearby car park at the western end of the campus. Fees are currently $3.30 per hour.

First you meet with our nurse coordinator and in this consultation we will ask you questions about your medical history and explain how the clinic works. The appointment with the panel of specialists takes place approximately an hour later.

When is the clinic held?

The clinic sees patients for appointments on Monday evenings every fortnight.

Appointments start at 4.00 pm and usually finish by 7.00 pm.

Who is eligible to attend the clinic?

If you have been diagnosed with a new melanoma, which has been confirmed with a biopsy you are able to attend for an appointment. Please note however, the WAKMAS panel do not routinely review patients who have a melanoma, which is less than 0.8 mm thick.

Patients who have developed problems from a previous melanoma are able to be referred to WAKMAS, who will assess whether the patient needs to attend the clinic or for case discussion by a team of specialist from which recommendations will be shared with your referring doctor.

Is a referral necessary?

Yes, a referral from your local doctor or treating specialist is required. To make an appointment please call 08 6151 0860 or fax the referral to 08 6151 1032. Once the referral is received, one of our nursing team will contact you to discuss clinic details.

Can I bring someone with me?

We welcome and encourage you to bring a relative or friend with you. They may be present for as much of the appointment as you wish.

Will any treatment be done on the day of my appointment?

No, the purpose of the visit is to make a thorough assessment of your situation and to help you make an informed decision about the treatment most appropriate for you.  WAKMAS is able to assist with booking any further treatment that may be required; however, the treatment will be done at a later date.

Which doctors will I see at my appointment?

WAKMAS brings together doctors from different specialties that are involved with the treatment of melanoma. Our panel comprises experts in pathology – who review and present your pathology slides, dermatology – who review your entire skin surface, plastic and general surgery – who provide advice and opinions on the surgical management of melanoma, medical oncology– who provide advice on managing melanoma with medications like targeted therapy or immunotherapy.

WAKMAS clinic review – you will be reviewed by a team of specialists being a Dermatologist, Plastic Surgeon and Medical Oncologist

WAKMAS external clinic review – you will be reviewed, in the first instance, by one of our specialists who will then present your case to a larger team of WAKMAS specialist for consensus on your management plan. If the team recommend review by another WAKMAS specialist then this will be discussed with you and arrangements will be made.

What happens at my appointment?

At the time of your appointment the nurse will introduce you to the panel of doctors and stay with you for the discussion about your melanoma and the advice that is given.

The panel usually consists of 2-3 doctors who will examine your entire skin surface, examine your lymph nodes as well as look at the site of the melanoma.

Prior to you attending the clinic, arrangements are made by our staff for one of our specialist pathologists to review your pathology slides and the panel will have these results to discuss with you at the appointment.

Treatment Plan

Your referring doctor will be contacted and provided with the suggested management plan. Unless specifically requested by your doctor WAKMAS does not provide treatment for your melanoma.

Following your appointment, all of the WAKMAS specialists (15-25 doctors) will meet and discuss your case in more detail. If further recommendations arise from this meeting, you and your doctor will be contacted.

Do I return to the clinic for further appointments?

In most cases patients return to the care of their referring doctor. In some cases onward referral to a specialist may occur and that doctor then becomes responsible for the ongoing care of the patient.

However, should you develop further problems with your melanoma you are welcome to ask your doctor for a referral to return to the clinic for further advice.

What is the cost of attending the clinic?

WAKMAS is a free service.

Participating in research

You may be asked if you would like to participate in a clinical trial but you are under no obligation to be involved in research.