Monday, 28 October 2013

New device helps detect skin cancer

Now there's a new device making a world of difference in the accuracy of detecting melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Melanoma is treatable when discovered early, something that patient Gordon Thompson knows well. "I lost count. I would say over 70." The 42-year-old Thompson knows he's lucky to be alive, and he continues to win his battle with skin cancer, a battle he began waging years ago with his first mole biopsy. Gordon's battle wounds are in the form of scars covering his back, but now there is a new weapon on his side called Melafind. This new device increases odds of winning against Melanoma. Dr. Lydia Parker of the Parker Skin and Aesthetic Centers was one of the first to try this device in Northeast Ohio, saying it is the "very first tool approved by FDA to detect melanoma and analyze a mole in a way that's painless." The steps in using the device begin with a doctor identifying suspicious moles. Then the machine is pressed against these moles to verify her suspicions. The computer screen shows it at work and the light penetrates under the skin. Dr. Parker takes a 3D image of the mole in layers. The images penetrate deeper and deeper into the skin and it analyzes 75 different features of the mole assigning it an instant numerical score. In essence, the Melafind is an instant second opinion for doctor's detection of cancerous moles. Basically, a second opinion, among other benefits, is cutting down on having to cut up a patient. Gordon Thompson's favorite part about Melafind is that it's 98 percent accurate. The device is too new for insurance companies right now. That's expected to change. In the meantime, expect the cost to average $200 to use it. For people like Gordon who says he's "got a lot to live for," the cost is more than worth it.

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