MOLE SCANNING FOR ATYPICAL MOLES AND MELANOMA

My Mole Scan

Solarscan® Mole Scanner

What is Mole Scanning?
Mole scanning is a computerised method of analysing suspicious moles to assess the risk of skin cancer. In the past few years there have been some excellent advances that have led to new technology for screening patients with abnormal and atypical moles. We have a the Solarscan system at the clinic that was pioneered in Australia at the Sydney Melanoma Research Unit. This is the most popular mole scanning system used in Australia and we are one of the first clinics in the UK to provide this technology.

How does mole scanning detect abnormal moles?
The Solarscan® system using a computerised programme to estimate the risk of skin cancer based on the size, shape, colour, variation in pigment distribution, and regularity of the border. Digital images of your suspicious moles are compared to a database of over 20,000 lesions to produce an estimated risk of melanoma. We combine this digital assessment with a clinical examination by one of our specialist consultant team, all of whom are experts in the diagnosis of skin cancer. Patients therefore benefit from review by a skin specialist and the latest technology. For patients returning for screening, we are able to compare moles at each visit to assess any changes.

Who benefits from screening?
We recommend screening for anyone with multiple pigmented moles and especially those with a family history or a personal history of melanoma. The interval of screening varies according to the overall appearance of your moles. Individuals with unstable naevi or multiple irregular naevi may need a 6-monthly review. We recommend annual screening for most individuals and can place you on a recall system.

What happens during my appointment?
We typically book a 30-minute appointment with one of our specialist nursing team (Carolyn Battes, Olivya Choi or Sophie Lockyer). You will be asked to undress so that we can examine your moles and we then scan any suspicious moles to assess any potential risk for skin cancer (malignant melanoma). During your appointment, your skin will also be examined by one of our skin specialists. The combined examination using digital technology and clinical examination by an expert skin specialist ensures that we provide the highest possible standards of care
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What happens if a mole is shown to be abnormal?
We can usually remove any abnormal moles on the same day of your appointment if this is necessary. Excision of any abnormal moles will normally cost approxiamtely £300, which includes a £110 histology fee paid to the pathologist for checking the mole. Additional surgery may be required if the mole is shown to be a skin cancer. If you are unable to afford the cost of surgery, we can arrange transfer to the NHS. All of our specialist team link into local skin cancer NHS teams.

What does screening cost?
We charge £129 for a standard scan appointment that typically takes 30 minutes for assessment by a nurse and scanning of any suspicious moles. We combine this assesment with a review by a skin specialist. Annual screening scans cost £99 for subsequent visits. We can provide discounts if multiple family members wish to have scans.