Skin Cancer is on the rise!

According to a  study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, squamous cell carcinoma rates have increased 263% between 2000 and 2010, while basal cell carcinoma increased 145% over the same time period. 

 

Although the reasons for this increase is not yet studied, increased sun exposure and increased tanning bed use are likely contributing factors. Avoidance of midday sun, wearing sun-protective clothing, and the regular use of sunscreen all help to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.

Can your phone really diagnose melanoma? Not so fast!

According to an study published in JAMA Dermatology which evaluated 4 smartphone applications that analyze photographs to identify malignant melanoma, the apps were able to make the diagnosis of malignant melanoma between 6.8% to 98.1% of the time.  The app that was found to be most effective sends the photographs to a Dermatologist for evaluation. What is important to remember is that smartphone apps are not classified as medical tools but as educational devices and clearly do not replace the need for a professional opinion.