What is Digital Mole Scanning?
Digital Mole Scanning uses special equipment to allow your doctor to examine your skin and moles to assist with the early detection of skin cancer.
A specialised camera and computer are used to examine and digitally record images of your skin, and, in particular, moles.
What Is the Benefit of Digital Mole Scanning?
Digital Mole Scanning magnifies a mole 30 times and uses specialised light to look through your skin to see the mole structure. This makes detecting melanomas easier and means fewer unnecessary operations.
The Digital Mole Scanning computer permanently records and stores images of your moles along with your doctor’s diagnosis for a permanent lifetime record. This means your moles can be monitored for change over the years.
Digital Mole Scanning allows your doctor to track and detect even subtle changes of moles over time.
Studies at the Sydney Melanoma Unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital have shown that early detection of these subtle changes allow early detection of clinically featureless melanoma, therefore increasing the likelihood of appropriate management, resulting in greater cure of early melanoma.
How important is early detection?
It is very important to remove a melanoma early. This is because “thin” melanoma have a very good prognosis (96% cure rates). Therefore early detection is vital in controlling the disease.
Who has a high risk of developing melanoma?
The most important common risk factor for developing melanoma is having lots of moles. Other important risk factors include a family history of melanoma, a personal history of melanoma or other types of skin cancer, freckled or fair skin (skin that tends to burn rather than tan), and frequent recreational sun exposure. While melanoma can occur in childhood it is uncommon before puberty. Melanoma is also uncommon in Aboriginal, Asian and African races.
Who Should Have Digital Mole Scanning?
Digital Mole Scanning is recommended for any Australian, especially those with high risk of melanoma as listed above. Digital Mole Scanning may also be specifically recommended by your Doctor following a clinical skin check.