Melafind: Finding skin cancer earlier

7:39 PM, Nov 22, 2012   |    comments
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CONCORD -- Just because we're heading into the winter months it shouldn't keep the risk of skin cancer off your mind.

It's the most common cancer in the U.S. and one in five Americans will develop it in the course of a lifetime. 

 Dr. Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga sees patients with skin cancer almost daily.  It's his specialty as a dermatologist.  Finding it early saves lives so when a new device, called Melafind, became available he had to be one of the first in Ohio to use it.

"The computer software has over 10,000 images of melanoma so by creating this three dimensional picture the computer creates an algorythm and compares this images to the melanoma pictures," Dr. Garcia says.

He says a study showed Melafind found cancer 98 percent of the time. Just last week, The Melafind device was named one of the Cleveland Clinic's Top Ten medical Innovations for 2013.

Dr. Garcia's medical assistant, Kelly Phillips, is fair skinned and had a mole on her arm that seemed questionable.

"I've had this mole forever but it's changed a little bit so I wanted to get it checked out," Phillips says.

The painless device takes a picture of the mole and gives Dr. Garcia a second opinion.

"When you're kind of inbetween and you're not really sure about when to take out a mole this will give you another diagnostic tool and a little bit more information to make the decisionk" Dr. Garcia says.

The Melafind is useful for people who have a lot of moles and/or a history of Melanoma.  It's also good for checking  moles in sensitive locations before doing a biopsy and leaving a scar. 

The FDA approved device is not yet covered by most insurance and Dr. Garcia says patients can expect to pay about $125 out of pocket if they choose to use it.

"That's a very small fee for something that will give you piece of mind," Dr. Garcia says.




















































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