A recent survey of over 700 dermatologists around the world has revealed the shocking impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the detection of melanoma skin cancer.

Compared to a normal year of performing patient skin examinations, dermatologists estimate that one fifth (21%) of melanomas may have gone undiagnosed in 2020, with one third (33.6%) of appointments missed due to the pandemic.

When these figures are considered alongside the World Health Organization’s (WHO) most recent melanoma incidence rates, the survey suggests that over 60,000 melanomas have gone undiagnosed worldwide, and 14,944 undiagnosed here in the United States.

“The lockdowns that have been necessary during the COVID-19 crisis, coupled with the additional strain on healthcare systems, have led to a worrying proportion of professional skin checks being missed. So, with this trend set to continue until we all emerge from the pandemic, it has never been more important for people to check their own skin for melanoma.”

— Kyleigh LiPira, MBA, CEO of the Melanoma Research Foundation

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy – the alliance of melanoma-related charitable organizations behind the survey – has launched two skin self-exam tools:

A voice-activated digital assistant ‘Skin Check’ app – Available on both Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant platforms, the app guides people through what to look for, and the seven steps for conducting a full-body skin exam. The assistant also offers the ability to set a recurring monthly reminder for the exam. Once enabled, users can simply ask Alexa or Google: “Open Skin Check.”

A skin self-exam video – Similar in scope to the app, the video covers the ABCDEs warning signs of melanoma, and the seven steps for checking the body. Pauses between the seven steps have been included in the film, so that the viewer can simply take their phone or tablet into a bathroom, hit play, and follow the instructions in real time.

“In the fight against melanoma, early detection and treatment is critical. Both the voice-activated app and the video are free to use, so we encourage everybody to find just 10 minutes each month and make conducting a skin self-exam part of their regular routine.”

— Kyleigh LiPira, MBA

[Source(s): Melanoma Research Foundation, PRWeb]

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