More on Mole Mapping
Why Mole Mapping in Kenya?
Looking at the skin which is our largest organ, a high incidence of morbidity and mortality causes huge burdens on patient’s health and also cost for the medical insurance industry. Where prevention of skin damage is lead by education, use of protective clothing and sunscreens, prevention of progression of skin lesions to skin cancers is of paramount importance. The only way to do this is through professional, expert screening of the existing skin and close follow up of those patients who are at highest risk. Valentis Skin addresses skin issues and has a skin cancer screening function. Dr. Tilman Stasch the co-partner of Valentis clinic has extensive experience in skin cancer screening.
MOLE MAPPING: Skin Cancer Screening
Mole mapping may include a clinical skin examination and dermoscopy to identify and evaluate lesions of concern for those at high risk of malignant melanoma. Mole mapping is intended to diagnose melanoma at the earliest possible stage, by identifying new moles or changes in preexisting moles. These features may be suspicious of melanoma if the lesion also has a disordered structure clinically or on dermoscopy. It is important to note that while some lesions are obvious potential cancer growths, others may not be apparent despite the close-up dermatoscopy images. These moles may be excised (biopsied) and examined further using histological techniques. Should this be the case, we will discuss in detail the need to biopsy your lesion. Reports from the mole mapping session will be compiled and sent to you approximately 4-6 weeks after the appointment; they are detailed and take a considerable amount of time to compile. These reports will help the patient to monitor all mapped moles for changes in size, shape and colour.
Advantages of Mole Mapping
- The previous record can be used to determine whether a lesion of concern is new or has changed.
- If the doctor determines that a lesion has the criteria for removal, this can be done at the earliest possible stage, reducing the risk of melanoma and minimizing surgery as well as expensive treatment of disseminated malignant melanoma.
- If a lesion is new or has changed, but does not reach the threshold for removal, it can be reimaged and watched carefully.
- Lesions that do have not structural disorder and have not changed are very unlikely to be melanoma and so may not need to be removed, reducing the potential cost, risks, and complications of surgery.
- Reassurance to patients and their health practitioner(s).
- Other lesions like basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas can be identified and treated.
Changing mole, picture taken 1 year apart (left) Histology after excision biopsy showed severe dysplasia of the cells
What Mole Mapping Usually Involves for the patient:
Patients are likely to undergo the following steps:
- They will be asked to remove at least the outer clothing. Lesions of concern hidden by the underwear should be pointed out to the practitioner. Makeup, nail polish, and jewelry should be completely removed prior to the procedure. Long hair tied up.
- Risk evaluation (ie, medical and family history, skin typing, sun exposure).
- Patient education regarding sun protection, moles, and melanoma
- Skin examination by a health professional (always a trained doctor). This may involve:
- Marking spots on an outline drawing of the patient to indicate the position of skin lesions of concern, particularly moles and freckles.
- Digital recording of moles of concern using the most modern dermatoscopy units and software available to keep images in a standardized form and format (Fotofinder Handyscope).
- Photographs or digital images of the whole body’s skin surface. These can be reviewed at a later date to see if there are any new skin lesions or whether preexisting skin lesions have grown or changed color or shape.
- Evaluation of the images by an expert in skin cancer.
- A report and Copies of the images to the patient and/or the referring health practitioner including suspected diagnoses and recommendations for treatment of lesions of concern to aid in skin self-examination
- 3 to 6 months for lesions of concern that are not removed
- 1 – 3 years or as recommended by the doctor for all routine follow-up Suitability for Mole Mapping
Mole mapping is particularly useful for individuals who have:
- Many moles (more than 20 to 100)
- Atypical or dysplastic nevi – moles that are large or of unusual color(s) or shapes
- Moles on the back, which may be difficult to keep an eye on
- Previous history of melanoma
- Strong family history of melanoma
- Moles and fair skin that has been severely sunburned
- Concerns about individual moles or freckles, eg, because of their appearance or recent change
Dermatologist Nairobi – Early skin cancer detection with smartphone
At Valentis Clinic, our specialist for dermatology uses the most modern technology of eDermatoscopy for the early detection of skin cancer. The use of digital imaging has revolutionised the examination of moles of the skin in order to detect suspicious signs that could show early changes leading to skin cancer. By using a handheld dermatoscope, which is connected to the smartphone, our doctors are able to visualize digital images of the deeper structures of any skin lesion. If suspicious signs are present, immediate action might be necessary in the form of a biopsy. Most of the time, however, no action needs to be taken, and the digital images of the moles are stored for future examinations. At that time, any new changes will be more obvious. In cases where skin lesions are difficult to interpret, it is possible to request a second opinion on suspicious moles. A team of international skin cancer experts in Australia will review the pictures and send a rating within a few hours. At Valentis Clinic, our specialist dermatologist for dermatological skin cancer problems sets a trend for the future: eDermoscopy for web-assisted skin cancer diagnosis and knowledge exchange is aimed to be established throughout Nairobi – Kenya as a screening procedure that will reduce the severity of skin cancer progression and might even save lives. A connected doctor can serve his patients even outside the practice. In Europe, this type of dermatoscopy has been well established among doctors, enabling them to take digital mole pictures independently of a computer – in clinic and practice or at home visits.
If you are looking for dermatologist Nairobi, please contact us on +254 732 110 005
VALENTIS CLINIC MOLE MAPPING: Skin Cancer Examination
Mole mapping always includes a thorough clinical skin examination and digital dermoscopy to identify and evaluate lesions of concern for those at high risk of malignant melanoma, as well as other skin cancers.
Mole mapping is intended to diagnose melanoma at the earliest possible stage, by identifying new moles or changes in preexisting moles. These features may be suspicious of melanoma if the lesion also has a disordered structure clinically or on dermoscopy.
It is important to note that while some lesions are obvious potential cancer growths, others may not be apparent despite the close-up dermatoscopy images. These moles may be excised (biopsied) and examined further using histological techniques. Should this be the case, we will discuss in detail the need to biopsy the lesion with the patient.