Cancer So­ci­ety warns against mole app

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CATRIN OWEN

The Cancer So­ci­ety is warn­ing peo­ple not to rely on a new mole check­ing app as a pro­tec­tion mea­sure against skin cancer.

Sk­inVi­sion, a skin spot check­ing app which launched here in Fe­bru­ary, has just part­nered with Ac­curo health in­sur­ance to pro­vide more than 30,000 mem­bers free ac­cess.

How­ever, the Cancer So­ci­ety is con­cerned it could put lives at risk if peo­ple rely on the app as a sub­sti­tute for an ex­pe­ri­enced doc­tor.

Med­i­cal di­rec­tor Dr Chris Jack­son rec­om­mends peo­ple con­cerned about their skin spots should con­sult their doc­tor.

‘‘The Cancer So­ci­ety sup­ports the de­vel­op­ment and study of new tech­nolo­gies for early de­tec­tion and di­ag­no­sis of cancer, but only af­ter they have been thor­oughly tested,’’ Jack­son says.

‘‘Peo­ple could also po­ten­tially be falsely re­as­sured a spot is OK when it it not, or even worse miss other spots that are po­ten­tially can­cer­ous.’’

New Zealand has the high­est rate of melanoma in the world, with more than 4000 Ki­wis di­ag­nosed ev­ery year and around 350 dy­ing from the dis­ease.

Ac­curo chief ex­ec­u­tive Ge­off An­nals says he wants to in­crease aware­ness of skin cancer in New Zealand.

‘‘We want peo­ple to take ac­tion with their own health,’’ he says.

An­nals as­sures the app doesn’t re­place health pro­fes­sion­als but rather works along­side them.

‘‘By pro­vid­ing our mem­bers with this uniquely ac­ces­si­ble skin health mon­i­tor­ing tech­nol­ogy we hope to save lives and en­cour­age our mem­bers and their fam­i­lies to be­come more aware of the im­por­tance of mon­i­tor­ing their skin health,’’ An­nals says.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of Sk­inVi­sion, Dick Uyt­te­waal says launch­ing in

Sk­inVi­sion en­ables users to mon­i­tor their moles and ac­cess spe­cial­ist help if needed.

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