AAPHC using new technology to determine skin cancer

Video from WALB
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 7:52 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany Area Primary Health Care is using technology to determine if someone may have skin cancer. They’re doing this at their medical center in Lee County.

They’re using this new technology to give patients some answers, but also to lower the number of patients dermatologists see.

According to the CDC, melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer, and it’s also the most common form of cancer in the U.S.

Catching skin cancer at its earliest stage is important for treatment. To help with that, Dr. Sam Waling, a physician at Albany Area Primary Health Care, is using dermoscopy.

It’s essentially a microscope attached to an iPhone. Waling holds the camera to a spot on a person’s arm, and a few seconds later, he has a digital scan. Using that scan, he can send it to a dermatologist to determine if it could be skin cancer.

Dr. Sam Waling is a physician at Albany Area Primary Health Care.
Dr. Sam Waling is a physician at Albany Area Primary Health Care.(WALB)

“It’s not just a picture. It’s a microscopic picture that can show more detail and let us know if there is any increased risk for a lesion to be suspicious,” said Waling.

He said they got the device after multiple people came in with concerns about skin lesions and weren’t able to make an appointment with a dermatologist in a timely fashion.

“I was able to help them evaluate whether it would be a concern or not a concern so I can reassure somebody that there’s no increased risk for skin cancer with a dermoscopic image,” said Waling.

If you’re concerned about a spot on your arm, some things to look at are changes in color, shape and size.

Waling said this is an alternative method to help dermatologists, but also help patients’ wallets.

“Patients who would not be able to potentially afford a co-pay for just walking into a dermatologist’s office. I can get them this image at a reduced price,” said Waling.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the service, call (229) 758-6508.