Melanoma is the most dangerous skin cancer. Although only representing 2% of all skin cancers, it is responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Early detection is vital for a good survival rate. Mole mapping is most effective method for detecting melanoma early.
The biggest risk factor for melanoma is having a large number of moles that can include some large atypical moles. When a patient has many moles, personal observation for new or changing lesions can become an almost insurmountable task.Mole mapping is a surveillance program that covers all aspects for detecting melanoma.
Mole mapping involves magnified digital comparisons of selected moles to detect any changes and also total body photography. Total body photography requires high resolution photos to be taken of all areas of the body. These photos are then used at follow-up appointments, to detect new moles, when doing a full skin examination.
“The introduction of dermoscopy, a non-invasive diagnostic technique, enables us to visualise the microscopic structures within the skin to diagnose skin cancers at a much earlier stage” stated Dr Sally Shaw, skin cancer expert atPeninsula Skin Cancer Centre.
“We use Molemax digital imagery to detect any change within a suspicious mole and also to recognise something new” said Dr Shaw. “Although we can continue to develop new benign moles up until the age of 40, any new mole in an adult should be monitored as they may be melanoma”.
“If a mole shows a change in structure, colour or size, then a biopsy is required to rule out melanoma. However, if a mole shows no changes, then it is unlikely to be melanoma and can continue to be monitored. Mole mapping enables us to see these changes before they are visible to the naked eye” she said.
Mole mapping is a service available at Peninsula Skin Cancer Centre. It usually requires an hour long appointment. No referral required.