Medical e-skin sensors have made it easier and more affordable to detect illnesses. Devices such as nanochips have made treating these illnesses even simpler. Still, not every health condition is easy to pick up. To rule out melanoma, students from McMaster University have created Skan, which uses heat to test for skin cancer.
It works using a series of thermistors, which are inexpensive and highly accurate temperature sensors, to detect the temperature response of a patch of skin to sudden cooling.
The readings are then processed by an algorithm that uses time, temperature, and spacial readings to create a heat map, and show any spots with heat irregularities that could be a melanoma.
It is important to tackle melanomas in their early stages as they metabolize faster than normal cells. But as with most outdated technology, current detection apparatuses cost more than an arm and a leg.
There are already detection methods using thermal imaging, but they currently use thermal imaging cameras that cost upwards of $26,000.
Estimates project Skan to cost $1,000, truly a fraction of the price of traditional machines. Considering how quickly survival rates drop when melanoma gets its way, investing in Skan may be the way to go.
Since the discovery of gene-altering cells, it seems cancer treatments are seeing a whole new level of success. For Marian Fields, who suffered from a rare skin cancer with limited treatment options, getting better didn’t seem possible. That is, until she and her twin sister Mary Jane underwent a successful skin transplant.
Dr Jesse Selber, a plastic surgeon from the MD Anderson Cancer Centre at the University of Texas… said the surgery was “incredibly challenging and complex”.
His team of five plastic surgeons removed skin, tissue and blood vessels from Mary Jane’s abdomen and transplanted it to Marian’s back, connecting eight different arteries and veins under a microscope during surgery.
The hole in Marian’s back was 21.5in by 8.5in, making it one of the largest tissue transplantations on record.
Surgeons were concerned that the skin would be rejected and that the cancer would recur. However, because it was not the type to spread to other parts of the body, the Fields sisters remained positive.
“There was never a moment of hesitation when the option to donate skin and tissue was a possibility,” Mary Jane said.
“I had what she needed. We are two bodies with one soul. She is my other self.”
The surgery, which took 14 hours, was ultimately a success. It even provided Mary Jane with a free tummy tuck. That’s what I call selfless, sisterly love.