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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Reported June 4, 2014

More VivaScope: Fewer Biopsies -- Research Summary

BACKGROUND: Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Every year, more than three point five million cancers in over two million people are diagnosed. Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer compared to breast, prostate, lung and colon combined. Treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers increased by nearly 77 percent between 1992 and 2006. (Source:

SIGNS/SYMPTOMS: About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It develops on the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms and hands, and on the legs in women. But, sometimes the cancer is found in a place that hasn't been exposed to the sun. Researchers think other factors could be involved. For example, exposure to toxic substances or a weakened immune system. Risk factors may include: fair skin, history of sunburns, and excessive sun exposure. (Source:

NEW TECHNOLOGY: VivaScope mole detection allows dermatologists to examine and diagnose tissues non-invasively. This means unnecessary scars, biopsies and excisions are avoided. This also means the unaltered skin is still available for accurate analysis, if need be. The images can be saved, so if the patient needs to be monitored the images will be available for comparison. The VivaScope hand held unit can reach skin regions that are difficult to examine. It can be applied to any part of the body and look beneath the skin's surface. Images appear on a monitor and the doctor can usually determine immediately if it is problematic. According to the National Institutes of Health there are barriers with new technologies, like the VivaScope. Some of those barriers are cost, time needed to become competent, and lack of insurance reimbursement. (Source: For further information, visit    MORE.



Babar K. Roa, MD, FAAD
Professor, Department of Dermatology
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Office: 212-949-0393



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