Dr. Sancy Leachman, Professor and chair of OHSU’s Department of Dermatology and Director of the Melanoma Research Program at the Knight Cancer Institute with over 25 years of experience diagnosing pigmented lesions and melanoma.
MoleMapper™ is a valuable tool to support melanoma research, to aid physicians and to empower patients to monitor their skin in-between visits — and it’s free.
A 23 year old woman with a family history of melanoma and a strong personal history of tanning salon use since the age of 16 presents to clinic for a general health checkup. During the examination, she is noted to have five nevi on her legs, all of which have a somewhat atypical — but similarly atypical — clinical appearance. She is concerned about removing the lesions and leaving a scar and states that there has been no change in any of these lesions since she was 15. She also reports that she is not regularly examining them.
Clearly, this young woman is at risk for melanoma. She has a family history of melanoma, multiple atypical lesions in a high risk area, and a strong history of UV exposure. Her reticence to biopsy these stable lesions and the unlikely chance that all five similarly atypical lesions could be melanoma, make careful monitoring of the lesions an attractive option. However, it may not be practical or necessary for her to return to the office every month, you may or may not have office space for digital photography, and she does not have a strong track record of self-examination compliance thus far.
MoleMapper is a next generation research tool. It is free for both you and your patients. It helps you help her to track changes in her lesions and helps us tackle melanoma research in an innovative new way.
Helping Your Patients to Use MoleMapper™
It’s easy. Simply tell your patients about MoleMapper™. They can search for it in Apple’s App Store. We provide helpful videos and instructions on this website and answer questions emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it fits your practice, you may consider helping patients take initial pictures of moles on their back or other difficult to photograph areas and encourage them to find someone they trust to take follow-up photos.
Integrating MoleMapper™ Into Your Practice
When your patients who use MoleMapper™ return for follow-up appointments, you can view the progress of their moles in their app. This longitudinal evaluation may enhance your ability to diagnose melanoma at an earlier stage when it will be less life threatening without adding additional cost to your patient or cost/labor to your practice.
Why is MoleMapper™ free?
OHSU has funded the development of MoleMapper™ with two purposes in mind. We believe in the power of helping people manage their own healthcare and MoleMapper™ facilitates that. We also believe in letting participants who wish to engage in “citizen science” help us and our research partners discover more about the progression of melanoma and other skin diseases. The recruitment and data collection phase of our research is completed but we are still analyzing the data that has come in. Meanwhile, selling MoleMapper™ as a product is at odds with these goals so we’re continuing to make it free for people to use as a self-monitoring tool.