Screening Moles for Cancer
The incidence rate for skin cancer has been growing at a staggering rate over the past few years. Its causative factors are many, such as increased ultraviolet rays and environmental factors, changes in life style, leisure time activities, travel and vacation habits.
Of the many forms of cancer that can develop in the human body, melanoma is one of the most serious. Its growth has been dramatic among the world's white population growing at a faster rate than any other forms of cancer found in humans. Statistics show that, in some countries, i.e. the United States, its growth rate has increased 20 fold over the past seventy years.
To this day, the only successful form of treatment for this disease is a timely and well- executed surgery making early detection the single most important factor in its successful treatment. Mole screening and regular self-examination can markedly increase the chance of early detection.
Melanoma may develop in an existing mole, or most commonly, on an area of the skin previously free of skin lesions. Depending on its location, early stage identification can prove to be quite a difficult task, especially, when it is but one of many pigmented moles found throughout the body. Thus, from the standpoint of its development, aside from light colored skin and hair, the number of moles also becomes an important risk factor in a melanoma's development.
Digital Video Dermatoscope
The introduction of the new digital video dermatoscope, with digitalized photos and artificial intelligence for color analysis of pigmented moles, has given the oncologist-dermatologist a new and important tool in the examination of skin lesions. Photo enhancements of skin deviations are carefully stored to be recalled for comparison at subsequent follow-up examinations to determine malignancy of any changes noted. The digital video dermatoscope, of course, does not mean absolute protection. It does, however, provide a more precise diagnosis of skin lesions offering a better chance of early detection of a possible problem.
Digital video dermatoscope examinations are now available at the Buda Health Center, by appointment.