A new technological breakthrough is in use at a local hospital that can not only save patients money, but possibly their lives.
It's the only machine of its kind in the Wheeling-Steubenville and Pittsburgh area. It's called the FotoFinder. With it, physicians can take microscopic, and overall images of skin. Then the program analyzes the moles, and can - over time, detect changes that the human memory or eye could not.
It's called mole mapping and it's the most advanced method for early diagnosis of skin cancer. Without FotoFinder, physicians had to just use their eyes and memory's to decide whether or not a mole or lesion was cancerous.
"The traditional training in the A B C D E's; Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter of the pencil eraser is only about 80 percent accurate. When we add computer technology to that clinical information, it makes for a much more sensitive test to evaluate patients with early melanoma," Wheeling Hospital plastic surgeon, Dr. E. Phillip Polack said.
But now, Wheeling Hospital physicians have the help of a machine that can document and notify when moles or lesions are believed to be cancerous on the spot or over time and that is a huge breakthrough for skin cancer when early detection is the best chance for a cure.
"We have a more significant chance of actually finding an early skin cancer or a melanoma which at that stage would not only be treatable, but a curable form of cancer," said Wheeling Hospital Cancer Surgeon, Dr. Rose Hardin.