UNDATED (WJRT) -
(06/04/14) - Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
It's no wonder that a suspicious mark on your face would have you heading straight to a doctor for a biopsy.
Now, doctors have a way of preventing the tell-tale marks.
It's always better to be safe than sorry, right? Often, people have concerns, and if the doctor isn't sure, a biopsy is ordered and a piece of skin is removed. Now, doctors can use a new device that checks for cancer just beneath the surface, allowing patients to save face.
Joseph Donnelly has been here before - with Dr. Babar Rao, checking out the moles on his face. Donnelly has had two moles that were cancerous in the past, and he is about to get the verdict on this one.
No surgery, no cutting from a biopsy, thanks to the device Dr. Rao holds in his hands - a viva scope.
"It will take just a few images, which then will be visible on a monitor like this and I can tell right away if it is good or not good," Rao said.
Dr. Rao says the viva scope is applied directly to any part of the body. It takes only 60 seconds to look beneath the skin's surface.
At 70, donnelly can walk away knowing he won't have unnecessary scars just to be sure he is skin cancer free.
Insurance usually doesn't pay for the use of the viva scope. Patients whose doctors have the device can expect to pay $250 or more out of pocket.