A team of dermatologists has identified the world’s smallest skin cancer under a woman’s eye.
The tiny 0.65mm mark on the cheek of a woman named Christy Stotts has been described as ‘almost invisible to the human eye’ by a team at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).
Using state-of-the-art technology, the team was able to confirm that the scar was melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
The team inserted anything into the skin and found Christie Stotts’ cancer without cutting into her skin. OHSU emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis.
On May 1, a Guinness World Records judge awarded a certificate recognizing the team’s life-saving discovery.
Christy Stotts said she had been aware of red spots for a few years, but because of the pandemic, she delayed seeking medical help.
He said, ‘I started thinking a little more about my health during the Covid. I have a magnifying glass in my bathroom and noticed that the mark I was concerned about was quite large. I made an appointment to get it checked out.’
At that appointment, Christie Stotts’ area of concern was identified as a benign skin growth, a cherry angioma. But during the same evaluation, Professor Alexander Witkowski noticed another small mark on his cheek. This mark was later diagnosed as cancer.
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“What our team did together reflects my personal mission statement: ‘Detect the inevitable early,'” Professor Witkowski said of the discovery.
Christie Stats emphasized the importance of access to treatment, stating that she was ‘the right place at the right time with the right technology’.
“If they can detect mine (cancer) very early, this technology can help other people as well,” he added. This is an important reminder not to be lazy when it comes to your skin. You should check out the new stuff soon.’
To celebrate Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, the team has launched a public health campaign called ‘Start Seeing Melanoma’ to spread awareness.
“Your eyes can really be your best tool for melanoma,” said Sensei Leachman, MD, chair of the department of dermatology in the School of Medicine at OHSU. A mole or spot on your skin that changes in appearance, size or color is a sign of melanoma.’
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. According to OHSU, it accounts for one percent of skin cancer cases but is the leading cause of skin cancer deaths.
Between 2017 and 2019, 2,341 people died from melanoma in the UK.