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Letter from a patient

"...I was very much impressed with my last visit to you and your approach to the Melanoma puzzle - the total immersion photography and your Melanoma Risk Self- Assessment Test. You convinced me that I should have an annual skin scan because of my risk for melanoma...."

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What is a Melanoscan?

A Melanoscan is created by taking a series of photographs of the skin surface of a patient which can then be examined individually or as a composite. It is a technique used by dermatologists that provides them with a record of existing skin lesions and gives them something to compare the appearance of new lesions against, rather than just having to rely on either their own, or the memory of the patient, as to when a mark first appeared on the skin and its subsequent changes in size, color, etc.

The ability to identify new marks or lesions in a timely fashion has a major impact on the efficiency of the management of skin cancer. Through early detection, removal of any cancerous lesions becomes much less destructive both physically and emotionally. Advances in technology (e.g. the use of digital cameras to produce images on a computer screen) have greatly enhanced our ability to recognize both pre-existing and newly emergent skin lesions by providing better image manipulation (including magnification to aid the human eye) and allowing side-by-side comparisons of pictures taken over a period of time.

Who should have a Melanoscan?

  1. Anyone with a prior history of any kind of skin cancer, or with a family history of skin cancer can benefit from this technology as a means to identify possible cancerous lesions at an early stage.
  2. Anyone in a high risk group (e.g. fair skinned individuals who have had 2 bad sunburns before the age of 20, individuals with a large number of existing moles) may wish to consider having a Melanoscan as a preventative measure.
  3. If you are unsure whether a Melanoscan would be appropriate for you, then consult your dermatologist.

What is the procedure?

If in consultation with your dermatologist you decide that you are a candidate for a Melanoscan, then an appointment will be scheduled at a convenient time for you. The process of taking the serial pictures of the body takes approximately 15 minutes. You will be asked to disrobe (we will provide you with disposable underwear, if you wish). A series of pictures in three choreographed positions will then be captured in our completely private Melanoscan booth - the automated instructions will direct you through each simple step of the procedure. To facilitate the process we ask that ladies do not wear any makeup, any long hair is pulled up, and that watches and jewelry are removed.

After the images are captured, the dermatologist will examine you in the areas that are hard to image such as the oral cavity and the scalp. After the appointment, your dermatologist will review the images, and if anything is considered to need further attention you will be notified. Your dermatologist will recommend an appropriate time frame after which another series of images will be taken.

For more information on the revolutionary Melanoscan technology you may visit