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Skin Cancer Awareness: The Danger of Dr Google and How To Accurately Self-Diagnose

When we feel unwell, many of us quickly turn to our smartphones for answers. With instant access to the internet at all times, Google can become a medical minefield of information and leave you worrying that you are coming down with something more serious than expected. by Paula Pereira | Thursday 20th May 2021

Doctors have reported huge rises in this form of symptom-searching throughout the pandemic which often leads to increased levels of anxiety. The habit is known as cyberchondria, where even the most minor symptoms results in us frantically scouring the internet for answers.

Throughout Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Medicash are providing a series of blogs raising awareness of this all-too common cancer. Our partnership with SkinVision, available to all corporate policyholders through the Medicash app, can eliminate the anxiety of waiting for a diagnosis and provide you with clinically approved guidance with the click of a button.

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK and can affect anybody, regardless of skin colour, age or gender. The incidence of malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has risen faster than any other common cancer in the UK. Over the last decade, the number of people diagnosed with melanoma has increased by almost half.

At least 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and the disease kills over 2,500 people each year in the UK - that's seven people every day.

Fortunately, you don’t need x-rays or blood tests to find skin cancer early. With the help of the SkinVision app – all you need is your smartphone. When caught and treated early, skin cancers are highly curable. Unlike other cancers, you yourself are the one with the best chances of spotting the development of abnormalities on your skin as soon as they appear.

Not all skin cancers look the same. In fact, skin cancers can show up in many shapes and sizes.  There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Each of these can present in many different ways and can even look like other non-cancerous skin conditions. Many skin cancers are more common on parts of the body that tend to get more sun, such as the face, head, neck, and arms but can occur anywhere on the body.

It can be confusing to know when to get in touch with your GP, but SkinVision can give you an instant answer to your concerns. The app uses AI technology to spot the following warning signs:

  • A new, expanding, or changing growth, spot, or bump on the skin
  • A wart-like growth
  • A mole (or other spot on the skin) that’s new or changing in size, shape, or colour
  • A mole with an odd shape, irregular borders, or areas of different colours

You can view a gallery of skin cancer pictures on the SkinVision website to give you a better idea of what to look for, and how moles can change over time.

Regular skin self-exams are especially important for people who are at higher risk of skin cancer, such as people with reduced immunity, people who have had skin cancer before, and people with a strong family history of skin cancer.

It can be a frightening experience to see symptoms on yourself, but the easiest way to get peace of mind is with a quick scan of the SkinVision app. To access this service from Medicash, corporate policyholders just need to follow the link from within their current My Medicash App.

To round off Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Medicash and SkinVision have hosted a webinar highlighting current statistics and demonstrating what you, and your employees, should be looking out for, which you can watch below.

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