Mole-Mapper May Catch Cancer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/21/04

Mole-Mapper May Catch Cancer

More than 7,000 Americans die each year from melanoma. It's the most serious form of skin cancer, now, the University of Chicago is one of a few centers across the country using a new machine called the Dermascope to find skin cancer.

Since moles can morph into melanomas, doctors are using the Dermascope to find and diagnose changes early when skin cancer has a 90% cure rate. The Dermascope compares the size, shape, and color of moles that look okay but are questionable to a data base of known cancers.

The computer also keeps a record of the patient's own moles so it can reference what a certain mole looked like at the last doctor visit making any slight changes more obvious. Right now, mole-mapping is new so it's pricey. About $500.

But as it becomes more widely available, the cost may come down, and hopefully, it may end up being covered by insurance. We'll let you know if or when it comes to Lubbock.

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