SKIN CANCER CLINIC
The Scottish Skin Cancer Screening clinic is located at BMI Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow. The clinic offers rapid access to diagnostics and treatment for all non-melanoma skin cancers.
It is highly recommended to check your own skin as you will be the only one to notice any changes that don’t go away within 4 to 6 weeks. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should visit your GP who will be able to refer you to a specialist if required:
- A new growth or sore that won’t heal
- A spot, mole or sore that itches or hurts
- A mole or growth that bleeds, crusts or scabs
- Avoid overexposure to sunlight
Sunlight is the most important source of Vitamin D. Our body needs Vitamin D to produce calcium. However, we should always enjoy the sun with moderation.
Avoid exposure at the hottest time - especially between 11am and 4pm, when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
Use sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or more that contain both UVA and UVB protection. Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.
Avoid sunbeds and sunlamps. The UK's leading professional body on skincare, the British Association of Dermatologists, recommends that people should not use sunbeds or sunlamps. They can be more dangerous than natural sunlight because they use a concentrated source of ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation.
Use appropriate clothing. If you know that you are going to spend consecutive hours in the sun, it is recommended to cover you up with clothes, hats and sunglasses.
The most common types of skin cancers are referred as non-melanoma skin cancers. The two most common forms are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). After the initial consultation, your consultant will present the diagnosis and treatment plan. There are a number of different techniques used to treat non-melanoma skin cancers:
- Conventional surgery: the technique is to cut away the cancer, along with a small amount of normal surrounding skin. The cut is then stitched closed.
- Curettage and electrocautery (C&C): the cancer cells are scraped off and an electrical current is applied to the skin to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Cryosurgery: very cold liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and kill the cancer cells.
Mole Mapping is a painless, non-invasive procedure that acts as a surveillance programme, cataloguing and tracking your moles over time. This makes it possible to identify any changes in pre-existing or new moles which could potentially lead to skin cancer.
The process of mole mapping uses computer assisted photography and digital photo-dermoscopy to take a collection of images of your skin’s surface to generate a complete body mole map.
It has never been more important to regularly check your skin for any signs of changes in your moles or to look out for new ones. Most people have some freckles, marks or moles on their skin and it can often be difficult to identify which are new or have changed. In addition, areas which are not easily visible, like your back, can be difficult to monitor.
Mole Mapping eliminates these concerns and is a complete assessment of your moles, assisting in the early detection of skin cancer.
Who should consider mole mapping?
Mole mapping is a screening service for those at risk of or concerned about skin cancer. Your risk of developing skin cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
People who are at increased risk of the development of skin cancer include those:
- Exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays – excessive sunlight, tanning beds and sun lamps
- Who have a large number of moles
- Who have Irregular or large moles with an unusual appearance (atypical moles)
- With fair skin, freckling or light hair
- With family history of skin cancer
- With personal history of melanoma or other skin cancers
- With a weak immune system
- Who have Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)
What are the advantages of mole mapping?
Mole mapping is intended to diagnose skin cancer at the earliest possible stage, when treatment is most effective, some of the advantages to Mole Mapping include:
- Your mole mapping history can be used to determine if a mole is new or has changed
- Your appointment will be with a specialist consultant dermatologist
- If you discover a new or changed mole, but it doesn’t reach the threshold for removal, it can be re-imaged and watched carefully
- Preventable removal of harmless moles can be avoided
- Reassurance and peace of mind
What does mole mapping involve?
Mole Mapping is an out-patient appointment and will usually take approximately 60 minutes. When you arrive you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your moles and to identify skin cancer related risk factors.
A series of standardised photos of all the moles on your skin will then be taken and recorded on your file.
Your consultant will then run through your questionnaire, examine your skin and address any specific moles that cause concern for a higher resolution photographic (dermoscopic) examination.
Your consultant will then give advice in light of the findings.
Watch our short video below presented by Dr Robert Herd, Consultant Dermatologist that gives more detail on the mole mapping service.
Mole Mapping Video
To find out more or to book a consultation please call 0141 810 3151 or make an online enquiry here.