Friday, September 10, 2010
Medical Reports: Save Your Skin
We know we're supposed to check our bodies for skin cancer, but we can't always see every part. Much less remember if a mole has changed, but there's some new advancements that can help us monitor our bodies better. 7's Diana Diaz shows us the latest tools to "Save your Skin."
WSVN -- When Patti Bornstein goes outside, now she lathers on the sunscreen. It's a big change for the 54-year-old who grew up in a generation who loved eo bake in the sun.
Patti Bornstein: "I would go out there with one of the reflectors, with a black tar roof in baby oil and get my tan. The darker, the better is how we looked at it back then."
Many years later, she is paying for all her sun worship. Patty has already had three melanomas cut out of her skin.
Patti Bornstein: "When they say melanoma, you go what? Not fun and not very attractive."
She now worries about more skin cancers popping up and is constantly checking her body, but the eye can't always catch everything.
Patti Bornstein: "You can't possibly see your whole body."
So Patti is now depending on advancements at the UM Miller School of Medicine's Melanoma Clinic to help catch skin cancers as early as possible.
Dr. James Grichnik: "We have a pretty powerful arsenal tools that we can use to identify early melanomas. We use a number of instruments to help us a do an even more thorough check."
Unlike many dermatologists offices where they simply look at the skin or maybe snap a picture of a suspicious spot, here they actually take total body photos.
Patti Bornstein: "It was like a photo shoot every part of your body. It's actually very cool."
About 36 pictures are taken of your body from head to toe. The photos are then put on a disc to help track mole changes or spot new ones.
Dr. James Grichnik: "Many melanomas are brand new, and we'll go to those photos and see there was no spot there at all."
Patti Bornstein: "I can look at that once a month and see if something has changed or maybe see something I didn't know was there."
Doctors in the Melanoma Clinic also use a new tool called the dermoscope. It's basically a microscope that helps doctors see details about the lesion they couldn't see with just their eyes.
Dr. James Grichnik: "By getting a more magnified view, we can do a better job of sorting out if this is a lesion we should be worried about or not."
Patti Bornstein: "There were a few today that he looked at, and said 'Once I looked in the dermoscope, it was fine, there was no problem'."
With all these latest tools Patti feels confident she's doing all she can to save her skin and possibly her life.
Patti Bornstein: "It catches it. I want to catch them so they can get rid of them before they become an issue."
Diana Diaz: "The clinic also has another device that helps doctors see if a suspicious spot really needs a biopsy, which can help avoid unnecessary scars."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
To make an appointment: