Detecting suspicious moles early significantly increases the chances of a positive outcome should they turn out to be cancerous.
Mole mapping employs the latest digital technology to map your body for moles, meaning your dermatologist can track the development over time of your entire mole population and identify any suspicious-looking moles and recommend them for removal.
Equally, it is also possible to have just a single worrying or suspicious mole checked comprehensively for signs of cancer by one of our specialist dermatologists.
What is mole mapping or mole check?
Mole mapping, or Mole Check at The Cadogan Clinic, is the UK's most comprehensive screening tool for the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer; and was the first mole check approved by the British Skin Foundation.
Although moles are often harmless, occasionally, they can be a sign of cancer and the NHS and NICE recommend having your moles checked by an expert every six months. Mole mapping is the best tool available to track your moles and monitor their develop over time.
An Introduction to Mole Mapping
Our ABCDE Mole Checklist
Below is a helpful checklist you can go through at home, but it's always recommended to book in with a doctor if you have any changes to your moles or freckles or if you suspect any of them may be cancerous.
Why should I have my moles mapped?
Early detection of skin cancer saves lives.
When detected and removed early, the good news is that skin cancers from moles are almost always curable. However, an and early diagnosis matters; 85% of the 2,300 people who die each year from melanoma where at one stage curable.
A mole map provides a regular snapshot of your mole population, so even the smallest of changes can be picked up by your dermatologist. This means you can have peace of mind that any developing skin cancers will be picked up early before they develop into something more dangerous.
What is mole mapping and why is it so important?
Mole Mapping at Cadogan Clinic
At the Cadogan Clinic we have assembled a leading team of dermatologists, skin cancer specialists and plastic surgeons to ensure that not only can your moles be properly monitored, but swiftly and effectively removed with minimal scarring, should they be recommended for surgical removal.
Your moles can be mapped, reviewed and removed all in a single visit, if any moles provide cause for concern.
Our mole mapping 'Mole Check' is the first to have been approved by the British Skin Foundation, and remains the gold standard mole check service in the UK to this day.
Can my mole be mapped and removed on the same day?
What makes our mole mapping service different?
Dermatologist-Led: our mole mapping service is dermatologist-led, meaning that every mole map patient is seen by a trained dermatologist and not simply a nurse.
Computerized Mapping: our mapping tool is computerized and is consequently able to pick up even the subtlest changes in size and shape of your moles
Dermoscopy: each mole is also reviewed by our dermatologist team under a high-powered dermatoscope, or dermatology microscope, in order to overlay this assessment with the very best trained professional opinion
Rapid, Same-day Removal: We are also able to offer rapid, same day removal of worrisome moles since we have three fully staffed theatres on site. For the removal of bigger or deeper moles, or those in more visible places and sensitive to scarring, we have a team of plastic surgeons who can undertake the procedure
Mohs Surgery: We also offer cutting-edge Mohs surgery, the optimal approach for removing skin cancers as determined by NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence)
How does mole mapping work?
Book in to see your dermatologist for a full clinical consultation to review your moles and identify any that are a cause for concern or should be the subject of specific professional attention
Have your full body digitally mapped with one of our qualified nurses, and worrying moles dermoscoped for dermatologist review
Return every 6 months to assess the development of your entire mole population, with a specific focus on those previously identified as warranting close monitoring
At any stage in the process, any moles identified as a particular cancer risk will be surgically removed by one of our skin cancer specialists at the Clinic
It is possible to develop skin cancer at any time during ones life, particularly if you are considered high risk (e.g. you have fair skin). That said, the older you are the more likely you are to develop skin cancer so we strongly recommend this for those in their 50s or older.
Mole mapping is the most comprehensive safeguard against skin cancer and is recommended for anyone worried about their moles. Early detection saves lives, and mole mapping is the best option for supporting the detection process
Mole mapping and Dermoscopy begins with a consultation and full clinical examination by a Consultant Dermatologist. The Dermatologist begins by identifying and marking any suspicious moles and ones which warrant monitoring.
Next, the patient will be taken through the process of having whole body photography and dermoscopy of any moles that the dermatologist has marked. For the photography, the patient will stand on a mat at a fixed distance to allow for reproducible images to be taken by the camera on the mole mapping machine. Close up dermoscopy images are then taken of any moles identified by the dermatologist for monitoring using a hand-held dermoscope, which uses polarised light for accurate imaging. All dermoscopy images are uploaded to the patients' medical profile to allow the dermatologist to view the moles in detail. This completes the initial clinical examination.
There will be a follow-up appointment booked by the dermatologist in order to have the dermoscopic images repeated to see if there have been any changes in the moles.
In about 4-6 months' time, a follow-up appointment will be booked so that the process can be carried out in reverse order, with a repeat dermoscopy of the moles being monitored. During this appointment, the Consultant Dermatologist will review any changes in the moles in the before and after photos.
If there is a need for excision of any moles that have changed to prevent further progression, this will be performed under local anaesthetic and the specimen sent to the laboratory for a full histological diagnosis.
Computerized mole mapping is a tool to record moles and detect new moles. This is done in combination with Dermoscopy. It is used to monitor changes in existing moles, detect any progression and pick up skin cancers, especially malignant melanomas, early.
It is important to note that 52% of malignant melanomas are identified through early changes.
The more moles you have, the harder it is to perform accurate self-examinations. This leads to a higher likelihood that one or more moles will change without you noticing.
This type of mole mapping is objective, therefore vital in the prevention of skin cancer.
Our service is overseen by fully trained medical professionals, and is unlike the nurse-led equivalents found on the high street.
+ Dermatologist-Led: our mole mapping service is dermatologist-led, meaning that every mole map patient is seen by a trained dermatologist and not simply a nurse. + Computerized Mapping: our mapping tool is computerized and is consequently able to pick up even the subtlest changes in size and shape of your moles + Dermoscopy: each mole is also reviewed by our dermatologist team under a high-powered dermatoscope, or dermatology microscope, in order to overlay this assessment with the very best trained professional opinion + Rapid, Same-day Removal: We are also able to offer rapid, same day removal of worrisome moles since we have three fully staffed theatres on site. For the removal of bigger or deeper moles, or those in more visible places and sensitive to scarring, we have a team of plastic surgeons who can undertake the procedure + Mohs Surgery: We also offer cutting-edge Mohs surgery, the optimal approach for removing skin cancers as determined by NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence)
Most people have moles which remain perfectly fine throughout their lifetime but if you notice signs that a mole has changed in any way, it is wise to have it checked by a dermatologist or doctor during a mole check to make sure it is not cancerous.
This kind of skin cancer includes melanomas, basal cell carcinomas, and squamous cell carcinomas. Moles can also be precancerous lesions, changes that are not cancer but could become cancer over time.
The good news is that skin cancer can be cured if it's found and treated early. Contact the Mole Clinic at Cadogan Clinic for more information.
Bleeding or itchy moles can occur when they have been irritated or scratched – moles catching on clothing, being cut by a razor, makeup application, scratching an insect bite and hair removal are all very common triggers. However, these are also sign that the mole is cancerous.
There are definite signs that a mole could be a melanoma and individuals should seek immediate advice from a dermatologist. If you have a new mole or a change in your moles such as bleeding, changes in shape, size or colour, itchy or painful moles- it's imperative that you seek medical advice at the earliest possible stage.
Patients should be vigilant in having moles checked annually or as advised by your dermatologist if you have a history of previously abnormal naevi (moles) or skin cancer. An early diagnosis is crucial in managing this potentially life-threatening disease; skin cancer which is detected and removed early is almost always curable.
To enquire about a consultation with a Mole Check specialist, please complete the form below.