Mole check at Centre for Surgery in London
Mole check also known as mole mapping are one of the most common reasons to visit one of our expert dermatologists. Having regular mole checks enable the early detection of suspicious looking moles which leads to a higher chance of successful mole removal treatment if the mole is diagnosed as cancerous. Our dermatologists make use of cutting edge digital imaging technology to skilfully identify and assess moles anywhere on the body. Our imaging capabilities means your dermatologist is able to monitor your moles and very accurately determine changes in moles over time. The identification of suspicious moles is enhanced with digital imaging which is only available at a handful of dermatology clinics in London. Suspicious looking moles can then be removed and we have the capabilities to offer a same day mole check and mole removal service in London. Even if you have just one mole with features of clinical concern, it is possible to have this checked thoroughly by our expert dermatologists. The two main types of skin cancer are melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.
Mole check or mole mapping at Centre for Surgery utilises the most technologically advanced screening technology coupled with the expert eye of a dermatologist trained in all aspects of moles and skin cancer. The vast majority of moles pose no problems and are often just a cosmetic nuisance. However a small minority of moles especially in individuals with risk factors for skin cancer may be a cause for concern. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence or NICE recommends having a mole check every six months. For accurate assessment of moles over time, mole mapping using digital imaging is the gold standard method of tracking changes in moles.
Why Have Mole Mapping?
The answer is simple – Picking up potential skin cancer early can save lives
When potentially cancerous lesions are detected early on and removed early then it is highly likely that moles that have become cancerous are curable. The data is black and white, early diagnosis and treatment matters. Approximately 2,350 people die each year from malignant melanoma and up to 80% of these melanomas were at one point curable if they were detected early enough.
Digital mole mapping is able to capture data at a point in time that includes the whereabouts and appearance of your entire mole population. This enables even very subtle changes to be identified by our dermatologists. The assurance that skin cancers can potentially be picked up much earlier before becoming more aggressive and spreading elsewhere in the body cannot be underestimated.
Why have a Centre for Surgery mole check?
Our mole check and mole mapping service is different to most other nurse-led clinics in a number of important ways:
- You will be seen and assessed by a consultant dermatologist who will perform a full top to toe skin examination with authoritative advice given on the next steps that can be taken. At most other clinics, you will be seen by a nurse working to a pre-set protocol.
- If suspicious features of a mole are detected, you have the option of immediate removal in one visit or a confirmed booking for a day of your choice. Other clinics often ask you to return on a separate visit for the mole removal especially if first seen by a nurse.
- Histology results from removal of moles are back in 48-72 hours.
- There is no need to send images of your mole elsewhere. Everything is managed in-house unlike many clinics where images have to be sent to a dermatologist working remotely for further analysis which delays diagnosis thus causing unnecessary anxiety.
- No need to return to your GP for referral letters, unlike commercial clinics
- We have well established systems in place for immediate removal of suspected or confirmed skin cancer if the procedure is required. There is no delay and no requirement to return on a separate occasion for skin lesion removal or mole removal
The ABCD of moles
What to look for
Although any change in skin lesions or the development of new skin lesions is a concern, it is important to look out for certain features that are suspicious. These include an increase in size, a change in shape with irregular margins, bleeding, discomfort, crusting over the lesion, redness around the edges or new onset itching. At home, you should check your skin once a month for moles or new skin blemishes that are either new or you have noticed a change in an existing skin lesion.
Potential melanomas could demonstrate any of the changes below:
A – Asymmetry – the two halves of the lesion may differ in their shape.
B – Border – the edges of the lesion may appear irregular or blurred, and sometimes show notches.
C – Colour – this could be uneven. Different shades of black, brown and pink may be seen.
D – Diameter – most melanomas are at least 5 mm in diameter.
Melanoma does not always fit the ABCD rule. If there is anything you notice which looks different or a mole you are worried about or a mole that itches or bleeds then get in contact with us to arrange a consultation with a dermatologist.
Don’t forget the ugly duckling sign – something that does not look right.
Expert Mole Mapping At Centre for Surgery
At Centre for Surgery, we have some of the most experienced dermatologists specially trained in the management of skin cancer to review your moles and who work closely with our plastic surgeons where mole removal is required with the minimum of scarring. If you prefer, you can have full mole mapping, a dermatologist assessment and surgical mole removal for suspicious moles all in one session for maximum peace of mind.
How to find us
Centre for Surgery is located at 106 Crawford Street in Marylebone. Crawford Street is just off Baker Street. We are easily accessible by all major bus routes that pass through Baker Street as well as Baker Street underground station.
From the tube station, we are just a 5 minute walk southwards down Baker Street followed by a right turn onto Crawford Street. The clinic is about 200 yards on the left.
There is ample local pay & display parking in the surrounding area and an NCP car park is located further west along Crawford Street. Our local residential parking zone is the City of Westminster.
Address: 106 Crawford Street, Marylebone, London, W1H 2HY
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What is a cancerous mole?The majority of people who have moles on their skin have absolutely no problem with their moles but if there are signs that a mole may have changed in some way then it is always best to have it reviewed by an experienced dermatologist at a mole check appointment to rule out any clinical features of skin cancer.
Skin cancer includes basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. As well as moles demonstrating features of clear-cut skin cancer, many moles can also be precancerous. This means they may potentially develop into skin cancer over a period of time.
The key to the effective treatment of skin cancer is early diagnosis. The mole clinic at Centre for Surgery in London is an expert unit in the diagnosis and management of moles and skin cancer.
Is an itchy or bleeding mole something to be worried about?Moles that itch or begin to bleed can develop when they have been traumatised in someway, such as when caught on items of clothing, a razor blade injury during shaving of the face, an itchy insect bite and certain types of hair removal. Moles that itch or bleed can also be potential clinical features of skin cancer.
It is important to be aware of the ABCDE system of recognising suspicious moles. There are a number of potentially suspicious features that could indicate the development of a potential melanoma and all patients should arrange an urgent appointment with a dermatologist.
The development of new moles or a change in existing moles including itching, bleeding, changes in size or shape and other features should prompt you to seek urgent medical review.
The best approach is to have moles checked on an annual basis or earlier if advised by your dermatologist especially if you have a previous medical history of abnormal moles or a previous diagnosis of skin cancer. The key as always to the successful treatment of skin cancer is by obtaining an early and accurate diagnosis. The early treatment of skin cancer when it is still in its early stages results in better treatment outcomes.
When is the best time to have a mole check?Skin cancer can develop at any age especially if you have risk factors such as very light skin that burns easily. Although generally skin cancer is more likely to develop in older age groups especially in those in the 50s or older and having a mole check is therefore highly recommended after the age of 50.
How much does mole mapping cost at Centre for Surgery?Mole Map alone - £100
Consultation with a Dermatologist: - £200
Full mole map and consultation with one of our dermatologists - £250
Mole Removal: from £499
How long does the process of mole mapping take?Mole mapping takes a maximum of 30 minutes to perform. You will then be seen by the dermatologist for an in-depth consultation and dermoscopy of individual moles.
Should mole mapping be performed regularly?Yes, it is highly recommended to come for mole mapping every six months to enable an accurate assessment of your mole population over time.
Does mole mapping work?Mole mapping is the very best method of skin cancer prevention and is applicable to a wide range of people who are concerned about their moles. Early diagnosis leads to early treatment which results in optimal outcomes as skin cancers treated early in their course have the best survival rates.
What does mole mapping involve?Mole mapping initially starts with a thorough consultation and physical examination by a skilled dermatologist. Initially the dermatologist will Identify and mark with a skin marker pen any potentially suspicious moles and moles which need close observation.
The patient will then have full body photography and localised the moss copy of any suspicious moles which have been marked beforehand by the dermatologist. Full body photography is a standardised process involving the patient standing on a designated mat at a fixed distance from the camera for the production of standardised images. This will be followed by individual dermoscopy Of suspicious moles which were previously identified by the dermatologist. Dermoscopy involves a handheld device known as a dermoscope which uses polarised light for clear visualisation of moles.
The images which are taken from dermoscopy are then added to the patients online medical image file and these are then reviewed by the dermatologist.
You will be booked in for a follow-up appointment with the dermatologist in order to have further images taken with dermoscopy and these images will be compared against the images taken at previous visits to identify changes in the size or shape of moles.
A further follow-up comprehensive review is then carried out in six months time where further dermoscopy is carried out of the suspicious moles followed by a repeat full body photography screen. Images taken at this appointment will again be compared with previous images from prior appointments.
If your dermatologist identifies new features in moles that are a cause for concern, he or she may recommend mole removal to prevent further changes. The mole removal procedure is undertaken by your dermatologist under a local anaesthetic and the removed mole tissue is sent off for histology analysis.
What is digital mole mapping?Digital mole mapping is an entirely computerised process to both record existing moles and detect new moles in combination with manual dermoscopy by a dermatologist. The use of digital mole mapping helps to more efficiently monitor changes in existing moles and monitor them over time and improve the early diagnosis rate of skin cancers especially melanoma.
In more than half of all cases of melanoma, early diagnosis is achieved from the use of digital mole mapping.
Patients who have lots of moles makes it more difficult to carry out self examination. There is therefore a higher chance of one or more moles changing without being noticed.
Digital mole mapping is a evolution of older mole mapping techniques and improves objectivity in diagnosis and has been proven to help in earlier detection of skin cancer.