• Queensland is the Skin Cancer Capital of the World.
  • Melanoma is the single most common cause of cancer deaths in Queensland.
  • MoleScreen has state of the art diagnostic and monitoring equipment.
  • We were the first Skin Cancer Clinic in Brisbane and Queensland, established in 1997.
  • We only ever operate in the patients best interest.
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Molescan-What makes a dangerous mole stand out?

by admin on June 10, 2011

How does a Molescan determine whether a mole is ok or not?

I am often asked how I know which mole is a melanoma and which is not. Whilst using our state of the art Molescan equipment, patients can see on the computer screen an image of what I am looking at. This much enlarged image contains a lot of information that can be quite bewildering. It is only from experience that we can distinguish normal from abnormal. There are several factors that are important; but it is always easier to tell if I am examining the whole person rather than a single mole or area or if I have seen the patient previously and have a baseline set of pictures of their moles. Before I examine the patient I will have taken a history and established skin type, I may also have knowledge of that patient if I have seen them before. I will know from experience what sorts of moles and various skin conditions to expect.

  • 1. Context is very important. The melanoma will always look different to the other moles present, the “Ugly Duckling”. This melanoma was distinctive and stood out in the context of the patient. This is a Level 1 superficial spreading malignant melanoma.

    Molescan Brisbane - Melanoma

  • 2. There may be evidence of change, I might have a record of that mole or the patient may report a change. The appearance may not be diagnostic of melanoma but the fact that it has changed may be significant. This is a very early Level 1 superficial spreading melanoma.

    Molescan Brisbane before

    Molescan Brisbane - After

  • 3. There may be features of melanoma that are visible to the naked eye or features visible only on microscopy. This melanoma looked dark with the naked eye but under microscopy it showed a number of features typical of melanoma. This is a Level 2 superficial spreading melanoma.


  • 4. As most melanomas arise as new moles it is very important to recognise a new mole especially as we get older. The patient may have noticed a new mole or I may realise that a mole is new if I have a photograph of the area. Some patients have total body photography, we call it SkinMap. This Level 1 superficial spreading melanoma was 1.4mm in diameter and was very early. It was noticed by the patient. If a patient has had total body photography then I will be able to identify a new mole.

    Mole Check Brisbane

  • The majority of melanomas that I find are either Level 1 or Level 2. Both have a very good prognosis. These are early melanomas found by screening people who don’t know they are there. If we wait until the melanoma is obvious then it will be invasive with a poorer prospect of survival.

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