Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, responsible for about 75% of the skin cancer fatalities. There are an estimated 130,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the US every year and every hour one person in the US dies of the disease.
Melanoma is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells. An irregular mole is a mole that has at least one characteristic in common with melanoma. Scientists have identified several risk factors for developing melanoma, including ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, moles (dysplastic nevi and congenital melanocytic nevi), fair skin, freckling, light hair and family history of melanoma.
However, everyone is at risk for melanoma, even people who are not fair-skinned, have never spent a lot of time in the sun, have always used sunscreen and have no family history of melanoma. That is why it is so important to have your skin examined regularly by a dermatologist.
It is precisely because of these shocking statistics that MelaFind®, a sophisticated imaging system that may be used during a skin exam or mole check to help dermatologists see under the skin’s surface was developed.
MelaFind® is designed for use on moles that are peculiar. During a skin exam moles with irregular features may need a closer look. Some may be harmless but in some cases they can be melanomas. MelaFind® can be used to provide more information about the mole from under the skin. Based on the findings from MelaFind® testing you and your dermatologist can determine the best course of treatment protocols.