Imagine this: While getting dressed in the morning, you notice a mole on your arm. You’ve had it for a while, but it looks larger and uneven in color. Did it always look like that? You know you should visit the dermatologist, but you can’t help but feel a little dread thinking about the painful biopsy to come. Thankfully, there’s another solution: the DermTech Melanoma Test, which starts with a simple sticker.
The Smart Sticker, as DermTech calls it, doesn’t look much larger than a thumbprint, but the technology behind it is mighty. “Our revolutionary technology painlessly collects cellular material from the surface of the skin using the DermTech Smart Sticker, which then undergoes a proprietary laboratory process to identify abnormalities in RNA and DNA that are associated with melanoma in our state-of-the-art gene lab,” DermTech tells Woman’s World.
Doctors and patients alike can use the sticker – as long as it is used in a doctor’s office or at home with remote supervision. Once a patient or doctor collects the skin cell sample with the sticker, the testing kit gets shipped off to a lab. “If the DermTech Melanoma Test is negative, the mole has a less than one percent probability of being a malignant melanoma,” DermTech adds.
An Early Detection Melanoma Test
What are the benefits of a test like this? According to DermTech, “Traditional assessment of suspicious moles is visual. Doctors primarily rely on the appearance of a mole to determine its likelihood of being malignant. The DermTech Melanoma Test is a precision genomic test that lets us look past the skin’s cells — deep within skin’s genes — to help find and assess disease earlier.
“If detected early, the five-year survival rate for melanoma can be as high as 99 percent. However, if melanoma is left untreated and spreads to nearby lymph nodes, that survival rate drops to 66 percent. If it spreads to distant lymph nodes and other organs, it can drop to as low as 27 percent. Melanoma can spread in as little as three to six months, making early and accurate diagnosis essential.
“With the DermTech Melanoma Test, evaluating a suspicious mole may not require complicated imaging studies or invasive procedures. It’s a unique skin test that can often rule out one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer without a biopsy.”
It’s a step before a biopsy.
Research performed by DermTech shows that the earliest stages of melanoma are difficult to diagnose with just a biopsy. This is where the Smart Sticker can help. “The DermTech Melanoma Test can non-invasively detect genomic changes within a mole, meaning it identifies abnormalities in RNA and DNA that are associated with melanoma,” DermTech states. “These genomic abnormalities may occur before the mole looks abnormal on the skin or even under a microscope. So, detecting them may increase the chance of catching melanoma earlier — a critical factor in beating the disease.”
It’s important to note that the Smart Sticker is not an alternative to biopsies. If the test results show genetic abnormalities, your doctor will likely perform additional testing which may include a biopsy. But if the test comes back negative, you may have just saved yourself a scar.