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The incidence of melanoma is rapidly increasing worldwide. This tumor increased from a lifetime risk of 1:200 in 1950 to a lifetime risk of 1:24 in 2006. This is the tumor we have to watch out for. This is the reason why mole screening or melanoma screening is such an important practice.

The average mole is about 5mm in diameter, which makes it very difficult to evaluate with the naked eye. Technology in the form of the FotoFinder assists the trained dermatologist in mole screening and diagnosis to pick up early signs of melanoma.

A FotoFinder is a digital video camera which the doctor will hold against your skin so that an image is displayed on a computer screen. This image is a 40 times enlargement of the patient’s skin. No pain is felt during the mole-mapping procedure. If necessary, the image will be stored on the computer hard disk to be used at a later stage for comparison in future mole screening. The collection of data also enables for more accurate mole diagnosis.

The main advantages of using FotoFinder for mole screening is to reduce the amount of moles that are unnecessarily removed and to pick up early melanoma. This can be of huge benefit as moles are sometimes removed from cosmetically very sensitive areas such as the chest wall or upper back where the surgery can leave a very unsightly scar. During the mole-mapping procedure, the data is captured and stored onto the computer’s memory to be compared a few months later with the current appearance of the moles.

This is a non-invasive procedure for mole screening and diagnosis. The same non-invasive procedure is used in melanoma screening (also on behalf of other Dermatologists).