Science

Skin Cancer Apps Are Not Reliable, Cancer Society Says

By Monica U Santos , Nov 18, 2016 03:22 AM EST

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., accounting for almost half of all cancers. But if it is detected early, it is almost always curable. Many industries are providing people applications using smartphones to make life easier. However, Cancer Society is warning everyone not to rely on mobile checking apps as a protection measure against skin cancer. The organization says that any skin cancer application is not an alternative for patients to see doctors directly for consultation regarding skin cancer.

Skin Cancer App

SkinVision is a unique online assessment determines the potential non-natural growth of pigmented moles on your skin, a first of its kind. It has been tested scientifically in 2013 in the dermatology clinic; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Clinic in Munich, Germany. Associate Professor Dr. Tanja von Braunmühl states: "SkinVision is a promising solution for awareness and self-detection for individuals and a new communication platform between the doctor and the individual".

The App is working by taking a picture on the spot on your skin, then the app will analyze the image and will give a recommendation. You can archive the image you took, keep track of changes over time, and share it with a dermatologist or your doctor. SkinVision claims that the application can detect changes to your skin as early as possible and take action regarding your situation.

Apps Are Not Reliable, Cancer Society Says

The Cancer Society's medical director Dr Chris Jackson recommends people not to depend on a skin cancer detection app. "The Cancer Society supports the development and study of new technologies for early detection and diagnosis of cancer, but only after they have been thoroughly tested," Jackson says. "People could also potentially be falsely reassured a spot is OK when it it not, or even worse miss other spots that are potentially cancerous."

According to Stuff, New Zealand has the highest rates of melanoma in the world, with more than 4000 Kiwis diagnosed every year and around 350 dying from the disease. Accuro chief executive Geoff Annals says he wants to increase awareness of skin cancer in New Zealand. That is why SkinVsion partnered with Accuro health insurance to provide more than 30,000 members free access.

 

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