The rapid increase in the incidence of Melanoma in South Africa is somewhat alarming. Skin cancer is the most common and one of the fastest growing forms of cancer and people that have a lighter skin colour and enjoy an outdoor lifestyle are most at risk. Due to ozone depletion and more aggressive UVB rays early skin cancer detection is critical and we need to include skin cancer screening as part of our annual medical examination. Children over 12 years should also be scanned on an annual basis.
Historically skin cancer examinations were quite lengthy and tended to focus on a few single moles, but with the latest innovative technology it is now possible to record images of the entire skin surface with a twenty-fold magnification process in a matter of minutes.
ZippHealth is now able to offer mole mapping through cutting edge medical imaging solutions. The new Fotofinder Gold Standard is the world market leader in the area of digital dermoscopy and photo documentation in dermatology. With the Medicam 800 it is able to take images from four sides of the patient with a fully automated camera positioning in order to record the entire skin surface from head to toe in three minutes.
Another incredible feature of this technology is its ability to save images and automatically compare them with previous images thus illustrating any new or changed lesions that need to be investigated.
Sun safety tips
In addition to skin cancer screening, one also needs to take responsibility for the behavior that causes skin damage; from wrinkles and age spots, to something more sinister like skin cancer.
The myth that there is a ‘safe time’ in the sun is simply not true, so make sure that you are protected at all times.
First and foremost, protect your children - eighty percent of a person's lifetime sun exposure is acquired before the age of 18.
Wear a wide brimmed hat and protective clothing.Emthunzini hats have been awarded The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) Seal of Recognition (CSOR) symbolizing that their products offer the assurance of protection against the harmful effects of the sun.
Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50, 30 minutes before you go out into the sun and reapply every sun exposure and then at least every 2 hours.
Your eyes are also at risk, so wear sunglasses with total UV protection.
Book a skin cancer screening appointment by calling ZippHealth on 011 792 1616.