Recently, the 2012 September/October edition of the Dermatology Times of Canada published an article that states “Despite increased warnings, people continue to tan at an alarming rate… Why aren’t they receiving the message?” The article points to a disturbing trend of people ignoring these very clear and well documented warnings.
Dr. Sapra explains that he continues to see trend, especially in youth. ICLS has always remained on the cutting edge, and with a surge of initiatives designed to increase sun protection and early detection, we are of course on board. These initiatives include the new and revolutionary Verisante™ Aura, with ICLS being one of the first clinics in Canada using this technology, Fotofinder, biopsies, cosmetic mole removals and the recommendation of effective sunscreens.
Verisante™ Aura is a multimodality imaging and spectroscopy system designed to aid in the detection of skin cancer. The system is able to provide extremely valuable information to Dr. Sapra and our nurses about the composition of the skin. Without any needles, pain or biopsy of the skin, we feel that this technology will be ground-breaking. While still in the pilot stage, we hope to have this technology available to all of our patients very shortly.
Fotofinder or Mole Mapping is used for the early detection of skin cancer, by tracking and monitoring mole changes. Patients will have their moles assessed and documented using this technology. The camera takes high quality images of all of your moles at a microscopic level. The initial photos are then used as a reference point for secondary photos. Even a slight change in colour or shape of a mole can be detected. The FotoFinder dermoscope is an advanced preventative tool and offers piece of mind for those with a history of skin cancer in the family, patients with multiple moles that appear irregular, or even patients who are concerned about their moles changing.
So with all of the research, availability of sun protection and these new developments, we are left asking why? Why do people know the dangers of the sun and tanning, but still choose to ignore the risks? That really is the million dollar question.
The article points to two main reasons:
- Prioritizing appearance over risk
Regarding the former, people continue to tan because they feel as though it makes them look better and thus they feel more confident in their appearance. With regards to the latter, many people do not consider skin cancer a serious risk. It is something that happens to other people. Reading these justifications, it is easy to dismiss them as irrational, yet they are indicative of real life perceptions and habits. ICLS will always continue to move forward, educating patients, offering solutions and begging people to just wear their sunscreen in an effort to change this alarming trend; and reduce the rates of skin cancer.