During the last decades, an alarming increase of melanoma incidence has been observed worldwide. Melanoma has become one of the fastest rising among all cancer types in western countries. Moreover, melanoma affects more and more younger individuals nowadays, compared to the past. As in all other types of cancer: the earlier the diagnosis and therapy, the more favorable the prognosis and the chance of survival.
Mole checks and melanoma diagnosis in Vienna
Following characteristics are known as risk factors of melanoma:
Familial melanoma: two or more members of a family having been diagnosed for melanoma.
Many moles: the number of moles correlates with increased risk for melanoma.
Changes of a mole: a change in shape, size and color is a potential sign for malignancy.
In all of the above mentioned cases, a consultation at a specialist is recommended.
For early diagnosis of melanoma, following examinations are available:
a clinical check includes an examination of the entire skin from the head to the toe. Even without using any tools, an experienced dermatologist or dermatooncologist can recognize malignant lesions. The use of a dermatoscope or dermoscope has now become standard for a better differentiation between benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) skin lesions.
Dermatoscopy (examination using a dermatoscope)
A dermatoscope is an important tool for early diagnosis of melanoma and other skin tumors (non-melanoma skin cancer). This tool contains a lens system enabling the observation of details in the deeper layers of the lesion. The physical effect of the application of the dermatoscope on the skin is comparable to using goggles for diving: though reflections on the surface challenges the visibility of objects below the surface, using the dermatoscope allows the inspection of skin lesions unobstructed by skin surface reflections. Therefore, the characterization of features using a dermatoscope improves diagnostic accuracy.
Digital dermatoscopy enhances the advantage of dermatoscopy by adding the possibility to save digital images obtained by dermatoscopy, which allows observation of alterations occuring with time. As images are magnified, even slight alterations can be detected and monitored. In case of a high number of moles or a mole that cannot be diagnosed with 100% accuracy, this is an alternative method to surgery. Short as well as long term observations using this system help identify alterations suggesting an early melanoma.
All of the above mentioned methods are offered in my office.
Besides the inspection and follow up of suspicious moles using a digital dermatoscope (or dermoscope), Prof. Dr. Okamoto offers a Bodyscan, where the entire body can be fotographed and saved for future comparisons. This method provides the advantage of detecting changes even of unconspicuous lesions. Moreover, new lesions that emerge over time can be detected more reliably. This is of importance as skin cancer does not necessarily develop on pre-existing lesions. Whole body scan is particularly useful for patients at higher risk such as those who have been already diagnosed for skin cancer in the past, with high number of moles or a positive family history of melanoma.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.