Over 200 New Zealanders die each year from melanoma, and about 1800 new cases of melanoma are reported each year. However, with early detection, melanoma is nearly always curable.

How can each of us ensure that we do not succumb to this preventable form of cancer? We need to monitor our skin and detect any changes. This includes either change in existing moles, or the appearance of any new moles.

The importance of change:
The single most important distinction between normal moles and melanomas is that melanomas change in size, shape and/or colour, whereas normal moles are stable. Doctors will seek information from their patients about possible changes. Often, patients are unable to provide any useful impression whether change has occurred. This is even more difficult as the more moles we have, the higher the risk of melanoma.

The solution:
A set of images of your skin surface provides a definite way to assess whether a change has occurred. Many melanomas appear as a new spot whilst some begin from a pre-existing mole. Either way a set of images provides a record that allows us to know with confidence, whether or not change has occurred. Therefore earlier detection of melanomas and follow up with your doctor is possible.