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Technology Apps that claim to test moles are missing skin cancers, doctors warn

01:55  11 february  2020
01:55  11 february  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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Updated: 5 Jul 2018, 15:34. UNTESTED skin cancer apps that claim to detect cancerous moles While some apps may be able to correctly identify skin cancer they should not be used in place of seeing “Any software that claims to provide a diagnostic element must be subject to rigorous testing and Chickenpox scar develops into skin cancer 30yrs after woman caught the virus. Warning .

Skin cancer apps for smartphones claim to aid early cancer diagnosis. However, many smartphone apps are available that claim to identify and track moles and lesions that could potentially become skin cancer . The study found that the apps missed up to 55 of melanomas.

Popular smartphone apps that assess suspicious moles on people's bodies may not be reliable in detecting all forms of skin cancer, doctors have warned.

a close up of a device© Shutterstock

A study found that the leading apps were both missing melanomas and incorrectly telling people their moles were a cause for concern.

The researchers evaluated SkinVision and SkinScan, two popular European apps which have not yet been approved for a launch in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Can an app really help you spot a risky mole ? SkinVision can help you ' be your own doctor ' by But doctors shown the same images correctly identified 88 per cent of cancers and were able to pick 97 SkinVision claims to be the first and only skin cancer app that has completed the approval process.

But can these apps really detect skin cancer ? Should you even bother with the app or head straight to the Say that you download an app that asks you to upload a photo of that mole you’ve been worried about. Does it claim to be able to make an accurate diagnosis? “If something claims it can make a

"Our review found poor and variable performance of algorithm-based smartphone apps, which indicates that these apps have not yet shown sufficient promise to recommend their use," wrote the authors, from the universities of Birmingham and Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

They warned that the current regulatory processes "are inadequate for protecting the public against the risks created by using smartphone diagnostic or risk stratification apps."

And they noted that healthcare professionals "need to be aware of the limitations of algorithm-based apps to reliably identify melanomas, and should inform potential smartphone app users about these limitations."

The World Health Organization estimates that between two and three million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year.

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Skin cancer symptoms. Because many skin cancers develop where they can be seen, there is a good chance of catching them early. Regular examination of the skin for any new or unusual growths, or changes in existing moles is critical.

Here are some skin cancer warning signs. Some symptoms are fairly obvious. Others are subtler and harder to spot. Like other forms of cancer , skin cancer is easiest to treat if it’s caught early. Getting a quick diagnosis requires being alert for symptoms, and reporting them to your dermatologist as soon

But skin cancers are generally treatable when diagnosed early, which the authors said makes prompt and accurate detection "crucial." Nine previous studies, which analyzed six different apps, were reviewed.

The largest risk factor for melanoma is overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, from sun exposure or using sunbeds.

Despite public health efforts to raise awareness of the risk -- particularly in hotter countries such as Australia -- another study in 2018 found that worldwide, men are dying from skin cancer at a higher rate than women and that the overall rate of diagnoses had risen in recent decades.

Melanoma has the highest mortality rate of skin cancers, according to the paper, and accounted for 1.7% of all cancer diagnoses worldwide during the time period they observed.

Solar keratosis: a gel treatment suspended from the market .
Picato gel used against lesions due to excess sun should no longer be used, warns the drug agency. This medication would increase the risk of developing skin cancer. © Provided by Franceinfo The end of Picato processing? The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) warned on January 17, 2020 against the use of Picato gel to treat solar keratosis , skin lesions due to a excess sun . The cause: a potential risk of cancer in the area where this gel was applied.

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