Whole Body Photography?

This moderated forum is to support the needs of patients with stage I & II melanoma, as well as answer questions about treatment options and what to expect.
Prd10
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Prd10 » Sat May 04, 2013 4:56 pm

Wanted to add a special not for Cohanja. Yes, I am talking about Rush. I just went back and read these posts again. I was told insurance wouldn't be covering these new photos, but I had no problem with the "old" ones. I have invested so much into this damn melanoma that I am sure I will get them done again. I'll try to remember to give you an update about how it goes. You have to make the appointment well in advance since the photographers are only in the hospital every few months.

sarahwyo
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by sarahwyo » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:03 pm

Is the digital derm like Mole mapping? I've had the mole mapping done at Colorado University Derm clinic. They took a very up close pic of all moles that were suspicious than 6 months later retook exact same pictures and the computer compared them for changes. For what ever reason i grow new moles at a very rapid rate all over my body mostly my stomach. most if not all that grow fast have been melanoma but have been able to catch them all early.

Lisa P
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Lisa P » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:09 pm

If I'm not mistaken, mole mapping is different. The grid photographs are photos of all parts of your body to provide a baseline of what moles existed in that point in time and, hopefully, whether they have grown or evolved when doing a comparison at a later date. When a particular mole causes concern, my doc takes a photo of that specific mole and then blows it up for closer inspection. If they don't do an immediate biopsy, she continues to look closely at it when I come in for my monthly checkups. I hope this helps to clarify and hasn't completely muddied the waters!

Bookie
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Bookie » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:24 am

Total body photography is a great tool for anyone in the high risk of melanoma category. But where you have it done can make all the difference in the world. My wife went to a highly regarded East Coast teaching hospital’s total body photography program and had a horrible experience. She expected to receive the same professional and dignified experience that she had there with all other medical procedures and practices at that hospital and that was absolutely not the case.
The whole experience was very unprofessional, unnecessarily humiliating, unsanitary and her final prints are too small to use. Before you make your appointment for a total body photography session call and ask the following questions before you sign up, she absolutely wishes she had. Don’t wait until you’re in the photographer’s studio to find out the answers.

If she had called first, these would have been the answers to her questions.

1) Do you have a female photographer on staff for females?
Answer…NO

2) If not, will there at least be a female chaperone in the room with me?
Answer…NO

3) Is there a private area for me to undress and dress, or do I have to get completely undressed and dressed standing right in front of the male photographer?
Answer…NO, and YES

4) Will I be given a some kind of a gown to wear during the photo session?
Answer…NO

5) Can I decide what I want and what I do not want photographed, or is it all or nothing?
Answer…NO, and YES

6) Can I at least keep my underpants on (where I have no moles) or must I be completely naked during the entire photo session, even when he is taking close up pictures of just my face, arms, hands and feet?
Answer…NO, and YES

7) Is the chair that I and everyone else have to sit on naked during the photo session to take pictures of my feet covered with a new sanitary covering each time?
Answer…NO

8) What size are the final prints, are they at least 8 x 10?
Answer…NO, there are 3.5 X 5

She would absolutely do it again, having the pictures makes it much easier to know if something is new or changed. She would, however, never go back to where she went the first time, nor go anywhere without asking all the above questions before she signs up again. We now know that at least Don Allen Studios in NYC offer both male and female photographers.

You’re paying for it, don’t listen to what the photographer tells you about the doctor insisting that you must be completely naked during the entire photo session. You tell them what you what photographed and they can either accept or say not. It makes absolutely no sense to have to be standing in front of a male photographer completely naked while he is taking close up pictures of your feet and hands. During a full body exam by a dermatologist, who is at least a doctor, you do not have to get undressed and dressed in front of them, nor are you are ever completely naked at any time. Only the part he is examining is exposed, why should the photography session be any less professional and dignified. Call first and ask, you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary humiliation, and in her case unsanitary conditions.
Another option is to do the photos yourself with your spouse, it is a lot less embarrassing, costs nothing, is of virtually the same quality, the only problem is you don’t get high quality prints to take to your dermatologists visit. You will have to bring your laptop computer, which actually makes the pictures more useful because you can enlarge the pictures on your computer, and you get to keep complete control over them.
It is a great tool, just spend some time choosing the right place. Don't assume because it is part of a highly respected hospital, that it will be done in a dignified and professional manner. Best of luck!!

Lisa P
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Lisa P » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:01 pm

Hi, Bookie - I think this is very helpful, but want to offer another perspective. When I had my grid photos done a few years ago in Seattle, they had a woman read a magazine in the room while a male photographer took the photos. He gave me a gown and said he'd ask me to drop certain parts when he needed me to. I actually told him that I prefer to drop the gown altogether as I felt there was a better chance of him getting good, clear photos of every inch of me if we weren't worried about how the gown was draped. Granted, I was uncomfortable and somewhat embarrassed, :oops: but told myself I needed to "buck up" and deal with it. I'm not saying this is the best thing for everyone, but I never had to see that man again and I have what have proven to be life-saving photos that helped idenitfy two subsequent melanomas. The bottom line, no matter what, is that grid photography is a very good thing for those of us who grapple with this crappy disease! Lisa P

Catherine Poole
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Catherine Poole » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:05 pm

Bookie,
I hope you will send a letter to the center where you had the photos taken. Mine were done 24 years ago at the Pigmented Lesion Clinic at UPENN. The staff photographer since left there to be part of Dermatrak (www.dermatrak.com) who travels to a whole host of places. They are very professional and the quality of photos are excellent.
Catherine M. Poole, President/Founder
Melanoma International Foundation

Worrywart
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Worrywart » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:46 am

University of Colorado Melanoma Clinic has photography. Not sure if it's whole body? It was photographs of lesions that they were watching, that were compared at subsequent visits with computer.
Melissa

Bookie
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Bookie » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:56 am

Catherine, my wife did send an email to the head of the dermatology department and he immediately apologized and said that they would look into making changes that would make the process more professional. They admitted that the photographer had just been hired two weeks before, and his experience was that of a commercial videographer, and from what my wife witnessed, apparently with no medical photographic background or training.
Unfortunately when my wife went for her follow-up visit several weeks later, no one seemed to know what if any changes were made, it seems as though none of the doctors were paying any attention to what actually was going on inside the photography studio.
It is a great tool, my wife would absolutely do it again, but she would ask a lot of questions first next time, to be certain that it would be handled as professionally as the rest of her experiences have been at that hospital. I will guarantee you that she will never have it done by that same photographer again.

Balto19
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Balto19 » Fri May 05, 2017 8:48 am

I see it's been a while since anyone has added to the list, but I thought I would describe my experiences. Thankfully, I have not been diagnosed with cancer, but I do have over 200 moles, and I have had several atypical ones removed. Since more than one of my doctors suggested I do photography help me keep track of changes, I decided to give it a try. My first experience was at George Washington University in Washington, DC. The process there was very efficient and I got a very good set of standardized pictures for a very reasonable price (less than $300 at the time) with only a moderately awkward fifteen minute session. A few years later, I had noticed a lot of changes and I wanted a new set. This time, though, I wanted pictures that were more specifically suited to my own use in self exams, in tracking my own particular trouble spots and hard to see areas. I tried a photography studio that typically did boudoir and fine art photography, instead of a clinical setting, and that actually went very well because they were capable photographers, very open to addressing my concerns and they were very attentive to putting me at ease during the session. And more recently, I have taken to using the MoleMapper iPhone app that is offered by the Oregon Health and Science University. I love that app and my dermatologist thinks it's a really good tool for self monitoring. And it has the added benefit that you can, if you want, participate in a research study as you use it.

Hopefully that adds a few options for others to consider, especially if you're like me and you primarily want to do a good job of monitoring your own skin.

Catherine Poole
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Re: Whole Body Photography?

Post by Catherine Poole » Tue May 09, 2017 7:04 am

Frankly, you can also have your spouse or close person take the photos too if you are not near a center of excellence. The idea is to know your body and keep track of those moles that concern you or look for something new. A close skin exam (self) is good to often perform. Look here for the 2 minute video to do it right: http://melanomainternational.org/melano ... RGwQ2krKM8
Catherine M. Poole, President/Founder
Melanoma International Foundation

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