WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dermatologists will soon get some high-tech help deciding which suspicious-looking moles should be removed and checked for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a device, called MelaFind, that makes detailed images of skin growths and uses a computer to analyze them for signs of cancer, offering a sort of second opinion to doctors.
The hope is to find more melanomas sooner. Nearly all patients diagnosed with early-stage melanoma can be treated and cured, but 85 percent of patients with late-stage melanoma die from it within five years.
The device's handheld attachment compares images to a database of 10,000 archived images and recommends whether a biopsy should be done.
The device is made by Mela Sciences Inc. of Irvington, N.Y.