What Is Mole Screening?

All individuals should have dermoscopic mole screening once a year. Because incidence of skin cancer gradually increases around the globe and early diagnosis saves lives in skin cancers. Even melanoma, the skin cancer type with the worst progression, can be completely eliminated if diagnosed and treated early.

What Is Dermatoscope?

Dermatoscope is a device which is used by dermatologists to examine the signs in skin, determine the risks in moles and diagnose skin cancers –especially melanoma- early. In addition to the skin, hair and nails can also be examined with dermatoscope. Signs in skin can be examined more closely and in detail with dermotoscope and details that cannot be seen with naked eye can be identified.

How is Mole Examination Performed?

Growth, color change, itching and bleeding in a mole should always be considered a warning sign. However, when these signs are spotted, it may be too late for early diagnosis. For this reason, moles should be examined with dermotoscope, their photographs should be taken with digital dermotoscope and risk should be assessed before complaints emerge. Dermatologic examination should be performed once a year even if there is no complaint.

Changes in moles can be summarized with ABCDE rule. A = Asymmetry, B = Border (irregular borders), C = Color (multicolored appearance), D= Diameter (diameter > 6 mm and increasing), E = Evolution (changes in mole).

Hand-held dermatoscope can be used to examine all kinds of skin lesions and moles. Patient should be completely naked during mole screening with digital dermoscopy. The body is photographed from the front and back; then, arms and legs, armpits, palms and soles are photographed. The second stage is examining the moles by magnifying the image, marking the certain locations of moles and recording them on the map of body.
Dermatologist plans either surgical removal of moles or creates a follow-up plan depending on the risk.  Risky moles should never be removed with non-surgical methods. Melanoma does not necessarily develop on mole, it may also occur in intact skin.

What Are The Advantages of Digital Dermoscopy?

Thanks to digital dermoscope that allows recording, the moles and other skin signs can be examined by magnifying them by 10 to 100 times. The light in dermatoscope lighten the skin in a special way and even the lesions that are hard to notice can be observed easily.

Digital dermoscope allows photographing and recording the lesion. In this way, comparison can be made in the next examination and even the tiniest changes can be recognized. All body screenings are automatically made by the device and  the device warns the physician even for a small mole that may not be noticed with bare eyes during control examination.

What are the risk factors for skin cancers?

Contrary to popular belief, congenital moles are also associated with risk. Moreover, light skin color, history of sunburn, solarium habit, intensive exposure to sunlight increase the risk of skin cancer. Familial history of skin cancer and having more than 50 moles are also risk factors.