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Mole mapping and melanoma

Mole mapping is a screening service that can help spot skin cancer at its earliest stage. We look at what a screening would involve.

Mole mapping is a screening service for those at risk of or concerned about skin cancer. The service is intended to detect malignant melanoma at the earliest possible stage when it is curable with relatively minor surgery.

A usual mole mapping appointment will take about 30 minutes.

When you arrive for your appointment you will meet your nurse who will ask you to fill in a questionnaire about your moles and why you are concerned about them. Your nurse will explain the procedure and take 16-18 standardised photos of all the moles on your skin.

Your consultant will then run through your questionnaire with you, examine your skin and identify any moles of concern for higher resolution photographic (dermoscopic) examination. Your consultant will then give advice in light of the findings.

This advice is likely to fall into four categories:

Low risk - we will discuss either continued self-examination and review at the clinic, or a planned annual review depending on which you prefer.

Intermittent risk - we would advise annual Mole Mapping with a consultant review.

Abnormal mole with some concern - we will discuss either removal or monitoring with checks every three or six months.

Abnormal mole with greater concern - we would advise removal.

Mole mapping is done as an outpatient appointment and you will be able to go home immediately afterwards.

There are no risks associated with this process.
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