Report of the 6th World Meeting of Interdisciplinary Melanoma Skin Cancer Centers and 8th European Association of Dermato Oncology Congress.

Only recently (from November 14th to November 17th 2012), 2 international meetings on skin cancer, this year’s Congress of the European Association of Dermato Oncology and the 6th World Meeting of Interdisciplinary Melanoma Skin Cancer Centers were held together in Barcelona, Spain.

Number of melanomas still increasing

During the meeting, recent epidemiological data was presented, highlighting still rising numbers of new melanoma cases worldwide. Melanoma is still incurable in advanced stages, i.e. once it has metastasized, and early recognition still remains the only cure of this malignant disease. Therefore, preventive measures consisting of sun avoiding behavior, regular skin cancer screening and early recognition remains crucial to avoid death caused by melanoma.

Changes of dark spots require raised attention

Thereby the most important sign of melanoma appears to be (self reported) growth of moles or pigmented lesions. Early melanomas are very difficult to be distinguished from harmless moles. Due to their small sizes, they often miss characteristic morphologic features of a melanoma. In the past, several attempts have been made to facilitate the recognition of melanoma such as the “ABCDE” criteria. However, these criteria are not useful for the recognition of early melanomas.

As they are increasingly diagnosed at an earlier stage, which in general is a positive trend, the most reliable characteristics of melanomas appear to be growth or change in appearance. An objective way to assess change in shape, color and size would be the use of digital dermatoscopy (also known as dermoscopy). Ask your dermatologist for more details.

Diagnosis of early melanoma

The example of a recently diagnosed melanoma (photo above) in the ordination shows that melanoma not have to be necessarily “large” (greater than 6mm) and not even have to be asymmetrical. The irregularities in the color can be seen only in the accurate assessment. The young patient (29 years old) specified that this “mole” has become lately a little thicker in contrast to the others. This information (change in size in the vertical direction), led to the removal of this “birthmark”. Histology revealed the diagnosis of early melanoma.

Skin cancer screening Vienna

If you notice a skin alteration, a skin cancer screening, including an examination and consultation with your dermatologist / your dermatologist is highly recommended. More information about the medical services offered in the surgery of Dr. Okamoto.

Contact Prof. Dr. Okamoto

For appointments, please contact us by phone +43 1 40114/5701, 5702 or 5703, or via E-Mail at or contact form.