May is Melanoma Awareness Month, so it’s time to talk about melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer. Melanoma claims the lives of more than 7,000 Americans each year – almost one every hour – and most cases are caused by sun exposure. Recently, Board Certified Dermatologists, Dr. Julie Karen and Dr. Amy Spizuoco, teamed with DermTech to discuss the disease, the importance of regular skin checks, and technology that can help enhance detection.
A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/LgppRu6_HTc
It’s important to know the warning signs of skin cancer, and that sun safety and skin checks should be routine. The ABCDEs of melanoma (asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving) are often the characteristics of skin damage that doctors look for when identifying possible melanomas.
In order to catch melanoma early, it’s recommended people schedule regular skin exams with their dermatologists. When melanoma is detected early, the five-year survival rate is >99%, but it drops to 27% once it spreads distantly. The traditional pathway for melanoma detection often involves doctors relying on the appearance of a mole and skin biopsies to determine its likelihood of being malignant. Skin biopsies have only a 5% melanoma diagnosis rate, meaning many skin biopsies are unnecessary.
Fortunately, technology is changing the way suspicious moles are evaluated. The DermTech Melanoma Test uses a non-invasive Smart Sticker™ to lift skin cells from the surface of a patient’s skin to be tested for select genomic markers associated with the disease. A negative test result means there is a greater than 99% probability that the mole is not melanoma.
For more information, visit DermTech.com
About Dr. Julie Karen
Dr. Julie Karen is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in Mohs micrographic surgery, laser surgery, skin cancer, cosmetic dermatology and the treatment of leg veins. Dr. Karen graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and played varsity soccer. She received her medical degree from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honors society, and graduated first in her class. Dr. Karen received the Clarence C. Coryell Prize for highest achievement in medicine, the John Metcalf Polk Prize for top scholastic performance, and the Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Award given to the top female graduate. She completed her residency training at The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at New York University Medical Center where she served as Chief Resident and received the Morris Leider Award for Excellence in Dermatology. Dr. Karen completed a Procedural Dermatology Fellowship at NYU and Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Dr. Karen is certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American College of Phlebology, the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery. She is affiliated with New York University Langone Medical Center, where she is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology and teaches surgery to the dermatology residents.
About Dr. Amy Spizuoco
Dr. Amy Spizuoco is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist. She did her undergraduate training at SUNY Binghamton, majoring in Italian and Biology. She then went to medical school at the NY College of Osteopathic Medicine.After medical school, she completed her dermatology residency at LECOM/Alta Dermatology in Arizona. During that time, she studied skin cancer surgery, pediatric dermatology at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and attended Dermatology Grand Rounds at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. After residency, Dr. Spizuoco went back to NY to complete a dermatopathology fellowship at the Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology.Dr. Spizuoco has been practicing medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology, as well as dermatopathology in Manhattan for 8 years. She is the President of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology and is an Associate Clinical Instructor in the Department of Dermatology at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also on the editorial board of Practical Dermatology and Dermatology Times.