Imagine Diagnosing Melanoma With a Patch

Imagine Diagnosing Melanoma With a Patch

Last year, we took a break from Nashville and I took my kids to DisneyLand. No matter what age you are - there’s reason to be in awe of the worlds that have been dreamed up by some of the most influential and creative minds that have impacted so many. While my kids were delighting in the rides and magic of it all, I took some pause to think and recognize that if you imagine something, it really can come true.

That’s the same feeling I had when I read about how patch testing for melanoma may soon be possible. While I do not know how realistic it may end up being, I think it would be an incredible advancement for melanoma detection and that’s why I wanted to share more about it with you today! In a study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, research showed how a noninvasive, adhesive patch biopsy was used to evaluate 555 pigmented lesions. In 398 samples that were validated with diagnosis, the method was able to differentiate melanomas from non melanomas with a sensitivity of 91% and a specificity of 69%.

I absolutely love this patch testing idea! The notion that you could just place a patch on someone’s skin, peel it off, have it analyzed and test for melanoma with a 91% accuracy rate is a major advancement for medicine. As my Nashville patients know, it takes a physical and emotional toll to biopsy pigmented lesions, especially when we don’t know what the results will yield. With patch testing like this, it would improve diagnosis and help guide decisions about when biopsying a pigmented lesion would actually be necessary.

I truly hope patch testing comes to fruition with time, and become a widely used means of testing for melanoma. This really does go to show that while there is a lot of protocol in science, the original thought still has to come from someone thinking creatively. And who knows - if this is what we’re seeing now, I’m even more excited to see what comes next in melanoma testing and how we can use it to benefit our Nashville community!

If you’re interested in getting a skin check done, I would urge you to visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD