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New Tools for Diagnosing Melanoma Exclusively at Paladin Dermatology! Bob Marley, President Jimmy Carter, Sam Donaldson, Troy Aikman, Senator John McCain…aside from being famous members of our society, have all been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. In fact, Bob Marley died from malignant melanoma at age 36 when a dark spot under his nail was mistaken for a recent soccer injury. Skin cancers, including malignant melanoma, don’t just happen to people with light colored skin who spend their time in the sun or in tanning beds. Certainly, too much ultraviolet light exposure is a significant risk factor for developing skin cancer, but even darkly skinned patients and people with limited sun exposure can get it. That’s because some skin cancers have a genetic basis, and those genes can now be detected with a simple, painless test. Keep reading! Taking good sun protections measures is important and we’ve all heard how critical it is to avoid the sun, wear sunscreen and protective clothing, and stay out of tanning beds. Beyond these prevention techniques, we must stay vigilant for skin cancer to identify lesions early when they are still at a treatable and curable stage. That’s right – many skin cancers can be treated and cured if they are caught early. At Paladin Dermatology, we recommend full skin exams

16 | Tri-Cities Health & Wellness - Winter 2017

to all patients. These exams are quick, easy, and painless, and have the potential to save lives. Our highly experienced staff of providers have received advanced training in using handheld dermatoscopes. These instruments allow us to see features of moles and skin lesions that are not visible with a simple visual exam. This avoids many unnecessary biopsies and tests, so we can focus on the lesions that are most suspicious for skin cancer. Additionally, at Paladin we are proud to offer the newest diagnostic tool for malignant melanoma! The DermTech PLA test allows us to take a sample of skin cells from a suspicious lesion to detect genes commonly found in melanoma. This non-invasive test is completely painless, does not require a shot of anesthetic, and doesn’t leave a scar. The test is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and commercial insurance plans. Please call our office today to schedule a skin exam and learn more about dermatoscopes and the non-invasvie DermTech biopsy! 804-324-4511 “In our quest to better serve patients and provide convenient health care that’s accessible, we are now offering extended hours. We will be open until 8pm on Tuesdays and Wednesday. No need for patients to call out of work or have their kids miss any more school days. We can attend to patients immediately because we take walk-ins and are in-network with most health insurance plans, like Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VA Premier, Optima, major commercial insurance plans and many more. We meet patients on their terms.”

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