What is Skin Scan?

"Skin Scan" for Skin Cancer Surveillance

Skin Cancer is the most common cancer and the incidence is increasing each year.  Factors that indicate increased risk for melanoma skin cancer include overexposure to the sun, episodes of sunburn in childhood, personal or family history of skin cancer, having fair skin that burns easily and having a large number of naevi (moles).  Regular checks are very effective in detecting skin cancers and allowing for treatment at an early stage.

The Skin Centre has recently updated its Molemax camera and software to offer the most advanced technology available with "Skin Scan".

The aim of Skin Scan is early detection of Melanoma, as well as Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers. Melanoma is the most critical as early detection of Malignant Melanoma can mean curative surgery for what is potentially a deadly disease.

The first step is body mapping the whole skin with the High Definition (HD) camera, giving us a baseline to work from and allowing the ability to review all areas of the skin for any future changes. Body mapping is an invaluable tool for the diagnosis of Melanoma as 70% of Melanoma arise as new moles.  The TBI (Total Body Imaging) photos are copied to a CD to allow for self checking between skin checks.

 The second and most important step is to have one of our highly trained doctors conduct a full skin check. Our doctors are experts at spotting skin cancers when they are early and subtle, when others might overlook them.  Obvious skin cancers are identified as well as moles that are ‘atypical’ and need to be monitored closely.

 In the third step, lesions that are less dangerous but have a risk for evolving into cancer are then photographed through a dermatoscope with the HD camera. The dermatoscope allows us to see the exact structure of the mole. Dr James Spreadborough and Dr Paul Salmon, review all the highly magnified digitized images of the individual lesions, taking into account the clinical appearance and history.

 A follow up appointment is made to repeat these close-up images at intervals appropriate to the nature of the mole. With two images side by side for comparison, subtle changes that can herald development of cancer within a lesion are able to be picked up.

We are all aware now of the dangers of excessive sun exposure and how important it is to be sun smart, but it is also important to be “skin smart” and get those moles checked.