Determine if a mole is cancerous
How were melanomas detected before melanomagraphies?
The old fashioned way was to just look at a mole and try to determine if it was good or bad. Experienced clinicians are able to diagnose melanoma clinically or with the naked eye 60 to 70 percent of the time. Today’s melanomagraphy is a non-invasive technique where there’s no cutting involved. The technique produces microscopic images of a mole. It lets clinicians see criteria more closely and increases the diagnostic accuracy into the 90 percent range.
Are many moles cut off just because they look suspicious, even when they haven’t been diagnosed as melanomas?
There’s a lot of unnecessary surgery. Clinically, a lot of pigment conditions fit criteria that would be suspicious with the naked eye. In those cases, doctors have a dilemma. They don’t want to miss a melanoma, which can kill. They would rather opt to excise a lesion rather than observe it, often leaving ugly scars. With the melanomagraphy and the Momax computer, doctors can use an image to look at a mole that clinically looks bad and determine whether or not it’s anything to worry about.
How serious a problem is melanoma in this country?
Melanoma is a worldwide problem. In the United States, the statistics say that in the year 2000, one out of 75 people will have the chance of developing melanoma in their lifetime. One person dies every hour from melanoma. The thing that’s very interesting is billions of dollars are going to be spent on treating patients with melanoma. At least 90 percent of that money is spent on advanced melanoma, not to mention the fact that people endure pain and suffering. The name of the game for patient survival is early detection. With the melanomagraphy, we have the opportunity to find melanoma early.