AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Medical College of Georgia is hosting pigmented lesion clinics where you can be examined with technology that doctors say is changing the game in early detection.
“It’s a relief knowing that it’s probably not anything major,” patient Christian Moores said.
Moores received good news at MCG’s pigmented lesion clinic on Friday. He noticed a discolored spot on his arm and worried it was cancer, but thanks to new technology, Moores has an answer without an invasive procedure.
“Bottom line is, when we evaluate the patient with this device, if it’s not a skin cancer nothing more needs to be done. They don’t need an unnecessary biopsy, or a biopsy that was necessary with the tools that we had before,” Dr. Harold Rabinovitz said.
The spot on Moores’ arm was examined using a confocal microscope. Dr. Rabinovits says its like an ultrasound of the skin.
“It was not painful in anyway, you just had to sit still while they did the pictures. It took about 15 minutes and my arm just sat there,” Moores said.
This is the first dermatology clinic in Georgia to use a confocal microscope, and doctors say it’s changing the game in early detection.
“It’s actually a laser beam which when hits the skin, gets reflected back into a computer screen where you see the layers of the skin live. It’s almost like virtual pathology,” Dr. Rabinovitz said.
Dr. Rabinovitz says melanoma is difficult to distinguish, with the bare eye, from a common mole. He says often the area will be biopsied and examined, but with this imaging, they can see deep into the layers of the skin without cutting into it.
“This is a tremendous boom in terms of evaluating these patients. Now we’re able to diagnose earlier, which means we’ll be able to catch these earlier, which means the cure rates will be better,” Dr. Rabinovitz said.
The Medical College of Georgia holds six pigmented lesion clinics per year and the next one is in August.