Harmless Beauty Mark or Melanoma? A Painless New Way to Find Out
Moles and freckles are common among fair-skinned people, and if they're in the right spot on the face, a mark or imperfection can look endearing and even sexy. Thanks to such "molerific" celebrities as Cindy Crawford, Goldie Hawn, Eva Mendes and Marilyn Monroe, moles—especially around the lips—have long been associated with beauty. After all, there's a reason they're called "beauty marks." People often wish their face had one of these gorgeous little quirks of nature. But one should be careful what one wishes for—these spots are not always as harmless as they might appear. Moles and freckles need to be watched carefully for changes in shape, size and color.
Even a slight change can be enough to signify that something serious is occurring under the skin's surface. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2010 alone, over 60,000 people were diagnosed with melanoma—the most lethal form of skin cancer. Out of this group, almost 10,000 died from the disease.
Dermatology has made strides in recent years to diagnose and treat skin cancer, most cases of which can be treated if found early and appropriately dealt with—the operative words being "found early." Melanoma can be treated best if it is found in a timely manner and brought to the attention of a dermatologist.
One company that is passionate about detecting skin cancer is Caliber Imaging & Diagnostics, which designs, develops and markets innovative imaging technology for examining skin tissue at the cellular level. Specifically, it has developed VivaScope, a confocal microscopy device.
VivaScope can take pictures of an entire lesion layer by layer—pictures that physicians use to rule out or diagnose most skin diseases and disorders. Since there is no cutting involved, there is also no possibility of infection or scarring. Obtaining an image takes just a few minutes so the doctor can make a determination at the bedside, or the image can be transferred within minutes through the company's VivaNet® system, so that a pathologist can diagnose it remotely.
L. Michael Hone, Chief Executive Officer of Caliber I.D., says, "VivaScope offers an unprecedented level of flexibility for aiding physicians in the diagnosis of skin cancers. We believe it can help address skin cancer concerns through early detection, and also help patients avoid unnecessary biopsies."
For more information, visit www.caliberid.com.