Saving lives and saving skin. A non-invasive test is helping eliminate the need for a traditional biopsy. All you do is peel and stick.
Long before a mole visibly changes, Dermatologist Dr Michael Greenberg is picking up information— with a sticker.
“Melanomas put out factors that we can pick up,” he said.
He said the sticker is “looking for genetic material in the cells.”
Called “Dermtech,” the non-invasive diagnostic test is for the tweeners. moles that may be cancerous but don’t necessarily spark immediate concern.
“This is an option,” Greenberg said. “This is not the be all and end all. This doesn’t replace standard biopsy for moles that are suspicious.”
Lauren Casey had two spots tested during her recent visit.
The 31-year-old opted for the non-invasive test after undergoing a traditional biopsy in the past. No cutting, no scar.
“I already have some scarring from previous biopsies that I’ve had and to have the opportunity to just have a sticker versus actually being cut was a preferable option for me,” she said.
Greenberg repeats the process four times on each same spot, collecting more cells with every peel.
The samples are sent to a lab for evaluation. Results come back in about a week.
“The whole point of this test is it’s over 99% accurate,” he said.
When a melanoma is caught early, patients have a nearly 100% survival rate.
“There are things that used to keep me up at night. ‘Did I miss something here?’” he said. “This gives me much more peace of mind. And it’s painless and we don’t leave scars on people.”
For Casey, who undergoes regular skin checks, it’s peace of mind.
“It’s definitely different, especially when you have multiple done at the same time,” she said. “It’s a much easier process to do what he just did. I would take that any day over a biopsy.”
The sticker test is covered by most insurance plans and can be done during a tele-visit for those in rural areas.