Mole screening via videodermatoscope 

Interview

If detected in time, skin cancer is curable. Dr. Rose Private Hospital dermatologist Dr. Zsófia Hatvani, explains the advantages of state-of-the-art videodermatoscopic screening and the importance and procedure of annual dermatological screening.

Malignant melanoma is an aggressive, cancerous skin tumor. With the help of annual screening tests, malignancies detected and removed in time are eminently curable, whereas in cases detected too late the malignant process can lead to metastasis.

There are several melanoma screening methods available: beyond the classical dermatoscope, videodermatoscopic mole screening is now at the cutting edge. With the help of a videodermatoscope we can examine the whole body, any new skin formations, and any changes to existing moles. By documenting changes in moles over time through comparison, we can filter out any skin formations that change as accurately as possible so that we can practically prevent a problem from occurring. At Dr. Rose Private Hospital, we use state-of-the-art technology to track moles. During the examination, the whole body is photographed to thoroughly record each individual situation initially in a macro image, i.e., how many, and what size moles the patient has during the examination. Each mole can be further examined with a so-called dermatoscopic probe, which allows us to magnify 10-20 or even 50 times. With the help of magnification, we can see structures that help the doctor professionally, whether the skin formation is benign, questionable, or possibly malignant. This way, proper treatment can be started in time.

The analysis is also aided by other programs using artificial intelligence, drawing our attention to differences in size, shape, and structure, and thus confirming the doctor’s opinion on what to do next.

We have countless examples, in the event of a mole showing signs of growth that are nicely confirmed by high-resolution photographic documentation, whereby closer follow-up is required, in which case we recall the patient earlier than one year. In this way it can be proved that the mole is benign, in which case no further action is required other than tracking any further changes. If there is a change in the structure, texture, and symmetry of the mole in addition to growth, surgical removal is recommended to prevent the development of melanoma.

Melanoma can develop without precedent, for example in the middle of a ’mole-free’ back, or it can develop in the process of changes in a pre-existing mole. For dermatological screenings, it is very important to have a mole examination once a year for everyone who is at an increased risk: for those of us with very light skin, red hair and a tendency to sunburn, the test is recommended twice a year. This allows us to recognize a malignant change in a timely manner and provide a surgical solution as soon as possible before any malignant degeneration or even metastasis may develop.

Dr. Rose uses FotoFinder® technology from one of the world's leading manufacturers for long-term image-based monitoring of skin cancer. Mole screening is performed using the FotoFinder® camera system and Moleanalyzer pro® software with artificial intelligence developed by the Department of Dermatology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. With this innovative technology, even the smallest changes in moles can be accurately tracked. By comparing moles recorded in full high-definition resolution at different times, any possible malignancy can be determined even more accurately. During the examination, in addition to the moles, the affected areas of the body are also recorded, thus allowing even more thorough long-term observation of the moles and any new skin formations.

During the examination, we first take overview images of the skin. The videodermatoscope is then used to take microscopic images of any atypical moles, which can be evaluated and analyzed. Digital storage of skin images allows for an objective comparison of past and current examinations during regular inspections, so even the smallest changes are detected.

Preventing skin cancer with FotoFinder®

  • long-term and complete documentation of the entire skin surface and all moles
  • examination of the whole body and initial analysis of skin lesions
  • regular examinations detect new and changed moles at an early stage
  • less unnecessary mole removal

The high-risk group comprises

  • fair skin type, sensitive to sunlight
  • a large number of moles
  • atypical or altered moles
  • if you have had severe sunburn in your childhood or in young adulthood
  • if you have a history of skin cancer in your family
  • if you have had a skin tumor before
  • skin damage and/or exposure to increased sunlight because of an occupation

What should we pay attention to?

Be sure to tell your doctor if your moles show the following changes:

  • you notice a sudden or gradual change
  • irregular shape
  • blurred, irregular edge
  • non-uniform color
  • size is greater than 5mm, or has increased
  • protrusion or uneven surface
  • freshly formed mole
  • bleeding mole
  • the environment of the mole has changed, e.g., redness, whitening, swelling
  • discomfort: itching, burning, foreign body sensation

For further information and to make an appointment, phone: +36 1 377 6737.

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