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SolarScan – Early warning of life-threatening skin cancers

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A new system of detecting life-threatening melanomas is now available to all GP’s around the country.

Australia’s incidence of skin cancer is higher than everywhere else in the world and with summer approaching, this new system of detection is more important than ever.

Promising to save thousands of lives and thousands of dollars, SolarScan skin monitoring system is a device that takes a coloured-perfect image of a sunspot, then three months later, the patient returns to their GP for a comparison.

Professor Alan Coates of the Cancer Council of Australia says skin cancer is the most costly of all cancers because anything that looks suspicious is generally surgically removed.

‘At the moment, we’re taking off about 30 brown spots for every one that needs to come off … that’s a lot of people having a lot of operations, costing a lot of money,’ he says.

Dr Scott Menzies from the Sydney Melanoma Diagnostic Centre says ‘we know that we miss 8% of melanomas. That is, they’re so-called featureless melanomas with no features within the region that enables us to make diagnosis with this equipment’.

It is hoped that soon there will be software available to enable this machine to diagnose skin cancer.

As the head of the Cancer Council, Professor Coates speaks on behalf of many GPs and dermatologists expected to be lining up for this kind of technology.

‘I think it’s an important advance and it sounds like it’s getting everything right,’ he says.

(Source: Ninemsn website)

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Posted On: 7 October, 2002
Modified On: 6 December, 2013


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