What is mole mapping?
Mole mapping is the process of taking multiple photographs of the skin from a distance. We take 28-30 photographs to document almost your entire body surface.
The photographs are a reference for later comparison.
- If you notice a spot of concern, you can refer to your earlier mole mapping photos to see if it was there earlier, and if it has changed.
- At future skin check-ups, we can repeat the mole mapping photos and compare them side-by-side to detect changes you might not have noticed.
- We have computer algorithms that help identify spots that have changed.
More information about mole mapping...
Should I have mole mapping?
If you have very high risk of melanoma and more than 100 moles, you should consider having mole mapping every year. There is evidence that mole mapping can allow earlier detection of melanoma in very high risk patients and therefore improve the chances of successful treatment.
Even if you don't have very high melanoma risk, you may choose to have mole mapping because:
- you can't remember where your spots are and you would like to have a record of them
- mole mapping is covered by your private health insurance policy
If you have mole mapping once, you don't necessarily need to have your entire body photographed every time you return for a skin cancer check.
We don't routinely recommend mole mapping for all patients since it hasn't been conclusively proven to increase melanoma diagnosis in low and average risk patients.