Melanoma Trust

In Memory of Sharon Rice O’Beirne


Mole mapping clinic launched at CUH

A new clinic to improve the detection of cancerous moles has been established at Cork University Hospital (CUH) as part of the hospital’s melanoma service in a development which is the first of its kind in any hospital in Cork city.

The mole mapping clinic at CUH is being provided by clinical nurse specialist Katrina Fogarty who underwent specialist training at the University of Graz in Austria to operate the service and she explained how it was integrated into the hospital’s melanoma service.

“Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that affects the cells that produce the pigment that colours the skin, hair and the iris of the eyes and although it’s not a common skin cancer, it’s increasing faster than any other cancer and it’s rising rapidly in Ireland.

“We had a 3.3 per cent increase in incidence in Ireland between 2001 and 2005 - 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.

“This is thought to be as a result of increased exposure to strong sunlight with more people going on sun holidays - malignant melanoma affects all age groups but is most common between the ages of 30 and 60 years and the chance of developing melanoma increases with age.”

Ms Fogarty explained that the new mole mapping services had been possible by funding from Aid Cancer Treatment, a cancer charity affiliated with CUH, which contributed to the purchase of equipment for the clinic.

The new system, which costs more than €22,000, allows for video dermoscopy and clinical image documentation with sophisticated mole mapping features that capture consistent clinical pictures with follow-up pictures to cover all dimensions of skin cancer detections.

“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,” she said, adding that the best defence for often fatal melanoma was early detection of new and changed pigmented moles with a high reliance on patients to identify these changes,” Ms Fogarty said.

Meanwhile, the hospital has also announced the appointment of the first accredited advanced nurse practitioner in colorectal nursing in the State who will be involved in developing services and interventions in the diagnostic and therapeutic arena of colorectal cancer.

Coloproctology clinical nurse specialist Anne Murphy, who received her accreditation from the National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery, will advocate healthy lifestyle choices for patients, their families and carers as part of her brief.

“Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Ireland and is often seen as the ‘Cinderella’ of malignant conditions despite being more common than many other well-known cancers,” said Ms Murphy, who has specialised in the field of colorectal nursing at Cork University Hospital for 12 years.

Original Source : Barry Roche | The Irish Times | 14th October 2008.

Filed under : What the Papers Say
By The Irish Times
On 14 October, 2008
At 10:00 am
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