LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As temperatures begin to warm up, it’s important to focus on protecting your skin.
The American Cancer Society predicts melanoma is the fifth most frequently diagnosed form of cancer in Nevada.
Especially in southern Nevada, where the sun is always shining, doctors have said that it’s important to protect yourself and be able to detect when too much sun could lead to a deadly illness.
Dermtech is a non-invasive diagnostic test for tweeners, or moles that may be cancerous, but don’t necessarily spark immediate concern.
Dermatologist Dr. Michael Greenberg is picking up cancerous cells through the test, and noted that it could be a useful option for patients.
“This is an option, this is not the be all and end all, it doesn’t replace a standard biopsy for moles that are suspicious,” Dr. Greenberg said.
He repeats the sticker process four times on each same spot, collecting more cells with every peel. The samples are then sent to a lab for evaluation, and results are expected back in about a week.
“The whole point of this test is, it’s over 99% accurate,” Dr. Greenberg continued.
When a melanoma is caught early, patients have a nearly 100% survival rate.
“There are things that used to keep me up at night, did I miss something here? This gives me much more peace of mind, and it’s painless and we don’t leave scars on people,” Dr. Greenberg said.
Lauren Casey had two spots tested during her visit and opted for the non-invasive test after undergoing a traditional biopsy in the past.
“I already have some scarring from previous biopsies that I’ve had, and to have the opportunity to just have a sticker versus actually being cut was a preferable option for me,” she told 8 News Now.
She said the test provides her with peace of mind as she undergoes regular skin checks.
“It’s definitely different, especially when you have multiple done at the same time. It’s a much easier process, I would take that any day over a biopsy,” she said.
The sticker test is covered by most insurance plans and can even be done during a televisit for those living in more rural areas.