Why should I get mole mapping photos done?
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Melanoma is a form of cancer that begins in cells that create the pigment melanin, and is one of the most dangerous cancer types leading to thousands of deaths per year.
According to the National Cancer Institute, ‘skin cancer is the most common cancers in the United States and the number of new cases of melanoma has been increasing for the last 30 years. Melanoma is more likely to spread to nearby tissues and other parts of the body and can be harder to cure. Finding and treating melanoma skin cancer early may help prevent death from melanoma.
The National Cancer Institute highly recommends regular mole checks by your physician.
The early detection of skin cancer delivers the best chances for survival. When melanoma is detected early by a physician, the cure rate is over 95% because it can be excised before it starts spreading to other parts of the body.
The ability to detect new moles and changes in existing moles is critical in the early detection process. The American Cancer Society states that, ‘part of a routine cancer-related check-up should include a detailed skin exam by a health care professional qualified to diagnose skin cancer. Many dermatologists use a technique called dermatoscopy (also known as dermoscopy, epiluminescence microscopy [ELM], or surface microscopy) to look at spots on the skin more clearly.
If you think about it, your physician likely sees thousands of moles per year on hundreds of patients, making it difficult to remember what your moles looked like six months ago. That’s why having a photo documentation system for the accurate tracking of moles is so important.
What is FotoFinder?
FotoFinder is a computerized mole mapping system that your physician uses to create an accurate set of photos of your moles. The high-resolution camera is connected to a computer and transfers all photos directly the doctor’s database, giving your doctor the ability to compare your moles with photos from your initial visit, and immediately identify new moles or changes to existing moles on your body. An added benefit of FotoFinder is that your doctor can provide a copy of your photos on CD for self-examination at home. All patients, whether they’re first-time or returning, can feel safe that any changes or new moles will not be missed with the FotoFinder system.
Who should get mole mapping done?
If any of the following questions apply to you, have your moles checked by your physician:
- Do you have multiple moles (more than 50)?
- Is there a history of skin cancer in your
- Did you have already a melanoma?
- Do you have large moles (more than 2 inches in
- Have you noticed any changes in your moles?
- Have you noticed any new moles on your body?
- Did you have severe, blistering sunburns during
childhood or adolescence?
- Do you have very light skin?
How can suspicious moles be recognized?
Using the “ABCDE” rule can help you to recognize suspicious moles during self evaluation. Moles showing one or more of the signs below, should be treated with the utmost attention and observed by your physician!
A for Asymmetry
B for irregular, Blurred or jagged
C for Color variation
D for Diameter larger than ¼ inch
E for Elevation especially when uneven
National Cancer Institute: PDQ® Skin Cancer Screening.
Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Date last
American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-detection