On Monday, SELF and Flywheel celebrated Mole-Check Monday and raised awareness for melanoma. On their website, author Zahra Barnes explains how to prevent deadly skin cancer, how to protect yourself, and how to get tested to catch it early.
“Melanoma diagnoses are climbing and young women are especially at risk, partly thanks to tanning beds. Dealing with melanoma comes down to primary and secondary prevention. Primary is protecting yourself from the sun, and secondary is getting melanoma treated as early as possible. If caught at an early-enough stage, melanoma is almost 100% curable. Unfortunately,basically no cures work once it spreads and worsens. That’s why skin checks are so vital, and furthermore, is why MelaFind is groundbreaking.
After the device is lightly placed on the patient’s skin, MelaFind uses light of ten different wavelengths to gather any hidden data about the mole that’s not visible to the naked eye. This imaging system gives dermatologists a 3-D view of the entire mole, including 2.5 mm beneath the surface of the skin.
Then, MelaFind analyzes the mole for any irregularities and scores it on a scale from “High Disorganization” (higher risk) to “Low Disorganization” (lower risk). Bonus: It’s non-invasive, painless, and super quick, evaluating the mole in less than a minute.
MelaFind has a 98.3% melanoma find rate, while dermatologists on their own have a find rate of about 72%. This distinction can help save lives, Dr. Rigel found. He’s already experienced multiple cases where MelaFind flagged a mole as high risk, only for him to test it and discover melanoma.
Only 24% of Americans have had their skin checked recently, so chances are you need to get yourself to a dermatologist, stat.
Oh, and bonus fun fact: MelaFind was developed using the same imaging technology the Defense Department relies on to detect missiles. How could you not trust your skin with this baby?!”