Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association

April 2009, Volume 1 Number 2 , p 141 - 141 [FREE]


  • Patricia Eidenback RN


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Eidenback, ...



Patients with multiple dysplastic nevi are at greater risk of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma. Total body photography (TBP) is a valuable tool in monitoring early changes within existing moles. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Skin Cancer Center, we recognize the invaluable impact this tool has in detecting invasive melanoma.



TBP consists of a multitude of photographs which provide head-to-toe images of the patient's cutaneous surface. This allows for a side by side comparison of baseline lesions and lesions taken over time.



Patients with TBP were less likely to have multiple biopsies and excisions since lesions are able to be tracked for changes. These patients become active participants in their care, often using the photographs to identify changing lesions.



TBP has been proven to be an effective tool in early detection of changing lesions. Patients, who had TBP, become active participants in their care by using their photos to identify changing lesions.



TBP has been a very useful tool for patient education. Utilizing patient education material and maximizing nursing face time will not only improve the nurse to patient relationship, but also help to reduce anxiety and provide a higher level of care to the patient.