Theres a new way to keep on top of changes to potentially cancerous moles. Emma Sibbles goes to The Mole Clinic and gives it a go...
How does it work?
The Mole Map involves having your entire body photographed to capture every visible mole. The pictures are then used to keep track of any changes in colour or size to detect early signs of cancer.
First, I am asked a host of questions, including my skin type and sun history, to assess my risk. The nurse then uses a magnifier to check each mole for signs of melanoma. Thankfully, I get the all-clear and proceed to the photos. It’s fairly embarrassing stripping down to your underwear in front of a stranger, but your body is photographed in sections – face, stomach, back, chest, arms, legs, feet (yes, even the soles, which involves manoeuvring myself into a ridiculous position) – which makes me less self-conscious. The process takes about 45 minutes.
What do I get?
You’re sent a presentation pack with a disc and the pictures. The idea is that, when you check your moles at home in the future, you compare them with the pictures, making it easier to notice even subtle changes. I’m left feeling relieved, knowing that all my moles are healthy for now and which ones to watch in the future.
Where can I have it done?
It’s currently only available at The Mole Clinic in London (020-7734 1177; themoleclinic.co.uk), but you can get a mole check at any of its outlets in selected Superdrugs nationwide. It costs £195 for full body or £65 for the back only and is recommended for adults with either a history of sunburn or numerous moles. Your GP will look at any moles you’re concerned about free of charge.