Mole Mapping

Most melanomas have an early stage where many develop as changing moles. When detected and diagnosed early, melanoma is easily cured. When not found in its early stages, it is very difficult to treat

Mole mapping is a surveillance program for those at high risk of malignant melanoma. It includes a clinical skin examination and dermoscopy to identify and evaluate lesions of concern.

The advantage's of a molemap are:
  • 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.
  • 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.
What Mole Mapping Usually Involves

You will be asked to remove at least outer clothing. Let the staff know if you feel uncomfortable, especially if there are lesions of concern hidden by your underwear. Makeup, nail polish, and jewelry should be completely removed prior to the procedure. Long hair should be tied up.

You are likely to undergo the following steps:
  • Risk evaluation (ie, medical and family history, skin typing, sun exposure)
  • Patient education regarding sun protection, moles, and melanoma
  • Skin examination by specially trained nurse This may involve:
  • 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 our Consultant Dermatologist Dr Cal Condon

A report will be sent to your referring GP including suspected diagnoses and recommendations for treatment of lesions of concern.

  • 3 to 6 months for lesions of concern that are not removed
  • 1 to 2 years or as recommended by your doctor for all routine follow-up
Suitability for Mole mapping
Mole mapping is particularly useful for individuals who have:
  • Many moles (more than 50 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
  • If you are considering undergoing mole mapping, discuss the procedure with your own doctor.