There are various methods for the prevention and early diagnosis of skin cancer. One of the most advanced is mole mapping. This technique is becoming more widely used in New Zealand due to the rapid spread of the condition. It is a fact that this is the most common type of cancer in the country. Find out how this method works and how it can benefit your health and wellbeing.
Mole Mapping: How It Works
This is an advanced method for monitoring moles. It is based on a set of techniques. The first one is the examination of all suspicious moles with a specially designed tool which magnifies the mole and uses intense light. The tool allows the dermatologist to see any abnormal changes in the first layer of the skin. Usually, this technique is used to examine the suspicious moles including all atypical ones.
The second technique involved in mole mapping is body photography. Special devices are used to photograph each and every part of the skin. The pictures are stored in a special database. When images from two or more exams are collected, the dermatologist is able to notice developments in the moles. This is extremely important since cancerous moles are evolving slowly but steadily and the process can go unnoticed until it is too late.
With this method, the individual has to visit the dermatologist's office for examination every 3, 6, 12 or 24 months depending on their skin cancer risk. The level of risk will be determined at the first visit of the patient. The doctor will ask for details about the patient's medical history and about their family history in addition to providing a thorough examination of the suspicious moles.
Mole Mapping: The Benefits
With this technique, skin cancer can be detected at its primary stage of development. If it is properly treated, the patient's five-year survival rate is 95%. This means that the person will have extremely high chances of getting completely cured.
The dermatologist will be able to recommend the timely removal at highly risky moles. That way, the patient will undergo just surgery. This treatment is less complex, less risky and much less expensive as well.
Overall, mole mapping is one of the most effective and advanced techniques for the detection of cancerous moles. It should be used by any person and especially by those who are at higher risk of skin cancer and malignant melanoma. The list of high-risk individuals includes those with family history or personal history of skin cancer, those with over 50 moles and those with atypical moles.