Total Body Photography

What's New on You?

Total Body Photography has emerged as the single most useful tool for early detection of melanoma in high risk individuals. If detected early enough, melanoma is 100% curable. Once a melanoma has spread to other parts of the body the cure rate falls to below 50%.

Consider the following:

  • Most melanomas arise from normal skin, not an existing mole.
  • It is a myth that we are able to detect which moles are more likely to turn cancerous and remove them as a preventative strategy. No medical studies have shown any benefit from this approach.
  • Melanomas always occur as change in an existing mole or the appearance of a new mole. How do you know if this has occurred?
  • The majority of melanomas will grow along the skin surface before invading deeper and developing the potential to spread to other parts of the body.
  • What happens if a mole starts to change or a new mole appears and your next skin check is due in 12 months time?

Total Body Photography overcomes many of the limitations of current melanoma surveillance systems. It allows ongoing home surveillance as well as improving the accuracy of skin cancer checks with your doctor. It improves the ability to diagnose melanoma early and reduces the number of unnecessary excisions performed.

 

How does it work?

Skin Integrity has a dedicated photographic studio for Total Body Photography. Studio lighting is callibrated and positioned to ensure that photographs are high quality and high resolution. A series of 30 or so photographs are taken in a repeatable manner to ensure close to 100% of the total body surface is photographed. These photographs are transferred to a USB and given to the patient. We advise that these photographs are transferred to your home computer.

We suggest that these photos are looked at every 3 months with the assistance of your partner or a friend or relative. It is a simple matter to look through the photos to look for changes in size shape or colour of existing moles or the appearance or new moles. The photographs are studio quality and can be magnified significantly to make the process very sensitive and accurate. Obviously, if you notice something new or changing you should have it examined promptly by your doctor.

Skin Integrity keeps a copy of the photographs. When you return for a skin chaeck the photos are used as a reference to enhance the accuracy of the examination.

Who would benefit from Total Body Photography?

Total Body Photography is recommended for people at increased risk of melanoma. This includes:

  • People who have a personal history of melanoma

  • People with a family history of melanoma in a first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) before the age of 50.

  • People who have many moles (generally over 100)

  • People with more than one large (over 5mm), irregularly shaped or coloured mole. This type of mole is referred to as a dysplastic naevus.

  • Patients with fair skin that tans poorly or with significantly sun damaged skin.

How often is it performed?

It is generally recommended that Total Body Photography be performed every 5 years for high risk individuals.

How to prepare for the procedure

The procedure takes about half an hour. Privacy is ensured at all stages.

  • Make-up: Should be kept to a minimum

  • Hair: Please bring a hair tie so that no hair is covering over skin areas like the face, back, neck and shoulders.

  • Jewellery: Please remove all jewellery beforehand.

  • Underwear: We ask that underwear be neutral in colour and of a brief style.

Fees

$220 per total body procedure. There is no Medicare rebate for this procedure. Some Private Health Funds may provide partial reimbursement but it is the patient's responsibility to investigate this.