Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Germany. The disease is constantly on the rise due to sun exposure, use of sunbeds and the general way of life. We therefore recommend going to regular skin cancer screenings. All anomalies are recorded, such as birth marks, light and black skin cancer and benign but unattractive skin changes. To be able to properly examine your skin, please arrive at the screening with no make-up or nail polish. Do not apply body lotion or sun cream in the morning.
If diagnosed early, the chances of recovering from skin cancer are very good.The operations are performed on an outpatient basis and in accordance with the highest aesthetic standards. Some types of light skin cancer can now be treated without surgery (creams, photodynamic therapy).
Overview of the most important skin changes
Birthmarks (moles, pigmented nevi, nevi, nevus cell nevi) are an overgrowth of certain skin cells.They can be various sizes, shapes and colours and can develop on any part of the body. Birthmarks are benign but some can develop into black skin cancer (melanoma). This is why they must be regularly checked.
Malignant melanoma (black skin cancer) is the most well known and most dangerous type of skin cancer.It can either develop on normal skin or from birthmarks. In addition to a genetic predisposition, sunburn in children and youths in particular seems to contribute to the development of a melanoma.
While early forms can usually be treated with surgery and a local anaesthetic, metastases can form in the body if the cancer is diagnosed later on.Therefore, a thorough and regular skin cancer screening is strongly advised.
White skin cancer is a type of cancer that develops from the non-pigment forming cells in the skin.The most common forms are basal cell carcinoma (basalioma), squamous cell carcinoma (spinocellular carcinoma, spinalioma, prickle-cell carcinoma) as well as early stages of actinic keratoses. The risk of developing non-melanocytic skin cancer increases with UV exposure throughout life and, as a result, with increasing age. Since white cancer only metastasises in rare cases, it is generally treatable. In addition to surgery, non-surgical options are also available for superficial forms, such as photodynamic therapy, creams and cryotherapy.
In addition, rare types of cancer, such as Merkel cell carcinoma or atypical fibroxanthoma are diagnosed and then treated.
We can also remove other benign changes such as lipomas, cysts, age spots (lentigines), seborrheic warts (seborrheic keratosis, age warts), angioma and many more on request.
Covering costs for skin cancer screenings
Statutory health insurance companies cover the costs for a visual examination of the entire skin from 35 years of age (some companies offer this earlier) every 2 years.
However, since this examination is not reliable and there is a risk that early forms of skin cancer that can be cured are missed, the skin changes must also be looked at with a light microscope.Unfortunately, light microscopy is not included in statutory health care (skin cancer screening of the statutory health insurance companies).However, it does comply with the current standard of dermatology screening and is medically useful as unnecessary surgeries can be avoided. Therefore, the costs for treatment with a light microscope will be invoiced privately according to the scale of fees for physicians (GOÄ).
In addition, computer-enhanced video light microscopy of moles is also possible.
What are the benefits of video light microscopy and the Mole Analyzer?
Skin cancer screening with video light microscopy is one of the safest ways to check birthmarks.Compared to an examination with the light microscope, it offers the following significant benefits:
- The higher and adjustable magnification (20 – 70 times) compared to the light microscope allows the discreet structures that indicate malignancy to be better examined.This allows skin cancer to be detected and treated at a very early stage.
- The progression of the pigment lesions can be objectively evaluated. Two or several concurrent images of a skin change can be compared on the monitor.
- The higher magnification and the evaluation of progression over time reduces the number of unnecessary operations of benign pigment lesions. Malignant pigment lesions can also be detected and specifically treated at a very early stage.
- The program (“Mole Analyzer”) is a computer-assisted tool for classifying pigment lesions as benign or malignant. Here, the images are compared with a database using a pattern recognition program. All patients can benefit from this examination method. It offers considerable benefits particularly for the following patients:
In patients with many pigment marks (dysplastic nevus syndrome), black skin cancer frequently develops not from the existing skin changes, but from unaffected skin.Here, the overview scans of the body are important for detecting new, potentially malignant pigmentation.
In patients with melanoma that has been detected early, the biggest risk is not the formation of secondary tumours (metastases), but of a another skin cancer developing (second melanoma).These can be detected and treated much earlier by including video light microscopy in melanoma aftercare.
New: Impedance spectroscopy (Nevisense) to reliably detect malignant skin tumours
Impedance spectroscopy (EIS, Nevisense) is a new procedure that has recently become available and is used to help diagnose melanomas and other malignant skin changes.It provides important additional information and is used to assist with the early detection of melanoma. The procedure determines the overall resistance in the tissue with alternating current.After a reference measurement is taken on healthy skin, the resistance of suspected lesions is determined and a forecast value is calculated to determine the likelihood of a malignant skin change.
Scientific evidence of impedance spectroscopy: Nevisense has been proven to effectively assist with detecting all stages of melanomas.To date, more than 4,000 patients and healthy volunteers have been examined with Nevisense, including the analysis of 2,416 lesions during the pivotal trial published in the British Journal of Dermatology (Malvehy J et al., 2015).