If you are concerned about developing skin cancer and have a number of moles, marks or freckles, that you want to keep an eye on, then you might want to consider mole mapping.
BMI Three Shires mole mapping service provides patients in Northampton with the ability to identify change in pre-existing moles or new moles which could potentially lead to skin cancer.
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.
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:
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays – excessive sunlight, tanning beds and sun lamps
- A large number of moles
- Irregular or large moles with an unusual appearance (atypical moles)
- People with fair skin, freckling or light hair
- Family history of skin cancer
- Personal history of melanoma or other skin cancers
- A weak immune system
- Taking tablets that suppress immune systems e.g. Prednisolone (steroid), Methotrexate, Azathioprine etc
- 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 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.
If you’d like to find out more or to book an appointment, please call 01604 620311 or make an online enquiry.