The risk of a long-term mole changing into a melanoma is extremely low (0.0005 – 0.003% **), so routine mole mapping of all moles is not helpful in a meaningful way. It certainly can be provided as an optional service, yet there is no Medicare rebate (Medicare concluded there is no convincing evidence that this technology saves lives). Yet not all “funny looking” coloured lesions need immediate biopsy or removal. Certain types are monitored at DermaSurg for a specified timeframe (usually around 3 – 6 months) using so-called “focused mole mapping” to monitor for changes that might identify those lesions that do require biopsy. People with extremely high individual risk of developing melanoma are also offered this service in combination with dermoscopy, which remains the gold standard examination to detect early melanoma.
** Tsao, et al. Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(3):282-288.