Inside South Florida


Diagnosing and preventing skin cancer

Posted at 11:31 AM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 11:31:36-04

One in five Americans develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. The year-round sunny weather in South Florida makes us extra susceptible to the disease, so what can we do to prevent it?

Dr. Julie Karen, a board-certified dermatologist, says over the past decade the rate of new melanoma diagnoses has gone up 40% annually. This means that over 200,000 new diagnoses will be made this year alone. The good news is that if melanoma is caught early it is curable, with a 99% survival rate.

"People do not need to die from melanoma," she says. "If we catch melanoma early enough essentially all melanoma deaths and late-stage treatments are preventable, but that's only going to happen if people get checked."

The DermTech melanoma test is an innovative way to easily and painlessly detect cancer. To do the test, a Smart Sticker is placed on the lesion of concern. The sticker painlessly picks up cells and is then shipped off to be tested. It has a less than 1% chance of missing a melanoma diagnosis.

Dr. Karen says using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is the best way to prevent skin cancer, but only if you remember to reapply every two hours.

For more on DermTech and melanoma, you can go to

Inside South Florida

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