Making Skin Cancer Easy Spot

3rd Apr 2005

Last week, the World Health Organisation warned that sunbed use was
directly involved in the significant increase in melanoma,  a deadly cancer
that targets the skin, and recommended that people under 18 should never use a
sunbed.  Today, Cancer Research will be launching its annual SunSmart
campaign to encourage everyone to reduce their risks. 
DERMETRICS, the skin imaging product suite from Astron Clinica, uses
non-contact SIAscopy, to identify cancerous moles from a digital
photograph taken with the same kind of camera you would take on holiday.
This unique UK developed technology is more effective than current
diagnostic practice, which merely relies on visual inspection of the
surface of the skin whereas SIAscopy uniquely enables medical practitioners
to visualise up to 2 mm underneath the skin.  DERMETRICS helps decrease
the time between identification and treatment.      Medical professionals have
been closely involved with the development of SIAscopy, which was based on
an original PhD by Dr. Symon Cotton.  Mr. Per Hall, consultant plastic
surgeon at the world renowned Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, England and his
team are exploring the possibilities of SIAscopy through a series of
research projects and are also using DERMETRICS at the hospital. 
DERMETRICS enables medical practitioners at all levels to use SIAscopy to
examine up to 2 mm beneath the surface of the skin without the need for
excision.  Case study examples include a 43 year old mother of two whose
birthday present saved her life.  Her husband gave her an appointment with
consultant Per Hall to remove thread veins, instead Per Hall spotted a
malignant melanoma on her calf, which was removed, and she is now very
happy to be regularly checked with SIAscopy to ensure that any other
cancerous moles that develop are controlled. 
SIAscopy is a unique way of looking under the skin with light developed in
the UK by Astron Clinica.  No form of diagnosis is 100% accurate, but as Dr.
Symon Cotton, the inventor of SIAscopy says, “The use of SIAscopy has been
shown to increase diagnostic accuracy from around 70% to 95%.  This could
be thought of as reducing missed melanomas by over 80%.  SIAscopy is the
most accurate method of deciding whether a mole should be removed or not.”
DERMETRICS is used to diagnose a wide range of skin conditions, from acne
to psoriasis, as well as malignant melanoma.


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