PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today, the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, is designated as “Don’t Fry Day.” It’s a reminder about the importance of sun safety to prevent skin cancer.
Skin cancer has increased 77% in the past decade. For a diagnosis to be confirmed, doctors often need to do biopsies. Now, there’s an alternative for the most serious kind, melanoma.READ MORE: Methacton Lacrosse Coach Garth Little Facing Charges After Video Captures Him Shoving Student-Athlete
Trish Kern sees her dermatologist more often than she’d like.
“When I was younger, I mean, we wore sunscreen, but we weren’t very careful, we didn’t know what we now know today,” she said.
It’s a common story. All those sunburns in years gone by can lead to skin cancer, the most common cancer, and it’s increasing.
Kern, who lives in Philadelphia, is careful to get suspicious spots checked after what looked like a pimple on her leg ended up being melanoma.
“That’s where they had to cut and get it all out, the whole area,” she said. “It wasn’t there one day, and it was there, and now, it’s Stage 3, so yeah, scary. I was freaked out, I just couldn’t believe it.”
Traditionally, suspicious spots are biopsied. Surgically removing a skin sample can be painful and leave a scar, but DermTech is changing that.READ MORE: Homeowner's Body Found Following Explosions, Massive Fire In Lower Providence Township Townhouses
“It is based on a smart sticker technology, which involves no needles, no cutting of the skin and no scar,” Dr. Stephen Hess of Center City Dermatology said.
It’s as simple as putting on a patch, that’s like a Band-Aid.
“I’m going to place this smart sticker right over the mole,” Hess said. “When you remove the sticker, some of the cells from the mole are removed, and then those cells are sent to the lab for a genetic test.”
Hess says DermTech has an accuracy rate of 99%.
Kern is happy getting biopsies is easier now
“If I could do one less scar, that’d be great,” she said.MORE NEWS: 'Sad Day In The Rescue World': Animal Advocates Fear Proposed Legislation Would Force Dog Owners To Give Up Pets
Doctors say the best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself from the sun and always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.