New skin cancer clinic introduced at CUH


A new clinic to improve detection of cancerous moles is now up and running at Cork University Hospital (CUH). The new mole mapping clinic, which has been introduced as part of the melanoma service in CUH, is the first of its kind for Cork.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It affects the cells that produce the pigment that colours the skin, hair and the iris of the eyes.Although not a common skin cancer, melanoma is increasing faster than any other cancer (3.3% increase in incidence in Ireland). This is thought to be due to increased exposure to strong sunlight (sun holidays). Malignant melanoma affects all age groups but is most common between the ages of 30 and 60 years. The chance of developing melanoma increases with age.

Katrina Fogarty, Clinical Nurse Specialist at CUH who underwent specialist training in the University of Graz, Austria to operate this service said “The clinic offers a complete skin check and individual mole mapping examination. This mole screening for melanoma skin cancer and computerised mole mapping can help identify melanoma early thus improving survival rates. Through this screening, early diagnostic and treatment of melanoma skin cancer will be improved with this new service”.

The new mole mapping clinic has been made possible by funding from Aid Cancer Treatment (cancer charity affiliated with CUH) which contributed generously to the purchase of a system for video dermoscopy and clinical image documentation with sophisticated mole mapping features. The new system which cost over €22,000 captures consistent clinical pictures with follow up pictures automatically adjusted to previous settings which covers all dimensions of skin cancer detections.

“The incidence of skin cancer and melanoma continues to rise rapidly in Ireland. Current statistics from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland show that 598 cases of melanoma were diagnosed in Ireland in 2005 compared to 459 cases in 2001. The best defence for often fatal melanoma is early detection of new and changed pigmented moles and there is a high reliance on patients to identify these changes” concluded Ms. Fogarty.

Aid Cancer Treatment fundraises through increased awareness to improve cancer treatment services by ensuring the continued development of the Radiation and Oncology Department in CUH.

Last updated on: 10 / 10 / 2008