How Does Mole Screening Work?

You may have heard about mole mapping or mole screening and wondered what it is about. Mole screening in Melbourne is a method of screening the moles and skin lesions to detect the changes in their shape, size our colour and identify if the moles or lesions are non-cancerous or cancerous.

While people need to get their skin examined routinely as a part of the annual physical examination with the doctor, a few individuals who are at a high risk of developing cancerous moles or melanoma need close monitoring of the moles. Patients with a strong family or personal history of melanoma - a form of skin cancer- fall in this high-risk category and must get their moles mapped or screened more regularly to detect any early signs of skin cancer and seek proactive medical treatment.

Melanoma or skin cancer when detected or diagnosed in the early stages is usually curable before it could advance into a life-threatening complication. This is where mole screening comes in. 

What is mole screening or mapping?

Mole screening is the process to identify or detecting cancerous moles in their early stages and seeking proper medical treatment.

Mole mapping involves the use of specialized computers to take images of the entire body, more specifically the areas with higher mole growth, and combine the images to form a complete image of the body. These images are then compared to the new images captured during the follow-up visit as recommended by the doctor. The computer system compares the images and helps to highlight the changes in the moles, lesions and new mole growth. Mole screening helps to effectively track the changes in the moles in the body annually and diagnose the early signs of cancerous moles.

The frequency of the follow-up visit depends on the risk factors. Doctors often recommend annual follow-ups for mole screening. However, they may recommend more follow-ups depending on the health history of the patient.

Nitai Medical and Cosmetic Centre provides the most comprehensive mole screening in Melbourne to monitor the changes in the moles in the body.

How does mole screening work?

Advanced technology has made the mole screening process simpler and more reliable. In this new system, the camera is attached to the rail which moves forwards and backwards to scan the entire body and capture images. The doctor or nurse may suggest you move into different positions to better capture the images of the moles in specific areas of the body. The computer then compares and analyzes the images to detect any unwanted mole activity. 

Mole screening is not a replacement or alternative to the clinical skin examination done by the dermatologist or surgeon. The two are very different but are often used together to thoroughly assess the skin concerns and unwanted mole growth on the skin. 

Having baseline images for mole screening is helpful as the doctor and patient both can remember the look and size of the moles from their last visit and identify any changes to the moles on the next visit. 

How does a cancerous mole look?

In some cases, the melanoma is more visible and easy stands out from other moles in the body. These types of moles include:

  • Irregular border: a notched outline is observed in the moles
  • Asymmetrical shape: two parts of the mole take different shapes
  • Diameter: the mole appears larger than 6 mm.
  • Colour: the mole has multiple colours or uneven colours
  • Evolving: the moles evolved, changing their shape, colours and size

The main concern is that many cancerous moles almost mimic the characteristics of normal non-cancerous moles and also don't fit into the identifying criteria mentioned above. 

For this reason, mole screening is very important as it helps to monitor the periodicity allows easy detection of subtle changes or evolution in the moles and distinguishes the high-risk moles from normal ones. 

Is mole screening beneficial?

Mole screening in Melbourne helps to identify the early signs of melanoma or skin cancer. In some cases, it may also reduce the need to undergo a biopsy. Patients with a higher risk of developing melanoma need to consult the doctor and undergo regular mole screening. The higher risk category includes patients with:

  • A large number of moles in the body
  • Family history of melanoma or skin cancer
  • atypical moles or dysplastic nevi
  • Congenital nevi: birth moles that can turn cancerous

A majority of melanoma cases develop when people age. Therefore, mole screening is a potent tool to help effectively fight skin cancer. Early detection is the first step in effectively during skin cancer. 

To know more about mole screening in Melbourne, you must visit Nitai Medical and Cosmetic Centre today.

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