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Dr. Orit Markowitz
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one person dies from skin cancer every hour in the United States — a good reason why everyone should schedule regular skin examinations. But you may ask, how do dermatologists know when a skin growth or mole needs to be removed?
In the past, every worrisome skin lesion required a biopsy, meaning a small piece of tissue was surgically removed and sent to a pathology laboratory. If the biopsy showed cancer, additional surgery was needed. Even today, surgical biopsy and removal continues to be the standard of care for skin cancer. Fortunately, we have newer techniques that enable us to not only catch skin cancers earlier but also to help us prevent unnecessary biopsies. Total body photography, digital dermoscopy mole monitoring as well as handheld dermoscopy lesion evaluation are some examples of this vital technology. Dr. Orit Markowitz speaks around the globe on these topics and each year directs the Mount Sinai Greater NY Dermoscopy course for dermatologists in the New York and New Jersey area who are trying to hone in on these new important diagnostic tools.
Dr. Orit Markowitz PHOTO Courtesy Elizabeth Cardone
Melanoma is the deadliest and most preventable skin disease. It is a skin cancer arising from melanocytes, skin cells that carry pigment also know as melanin, which gives skin its color. Melanocytes are the cells that also form benign (non-cancerous) moles known as nevi. The distinction between harmless moles and potentially deadly melanoma can be challenging even for the most experienced dermatologists.