When we find a suspicious mark or mole on our bodies, we’re told to visit our doctors to have it looked at. But one woman used a smartphone app to detect skin cancer and potentially saved her own life in the process.
Natalie Killian, a 39-year-old from the UK, first noticed a “suspicious-looking pimple” on her chest early last year, but she says her doctor dismissed it as nothing. Fearing that it might be skin cancer due to tanning bed usage in her younger years, she downloaded SkinVision, an app which allows users to snap a photo of any marks they’re worried about. They’re given results instantly thanks to technology in the app that allows you to track the progress of the mark, which can aid in diagnosing skin cancer in patients.
Killian tracked the lesion via SkinVision, which alerted her earlier this year that she should get it checked out by a doctor ASAP. The same doctor again told her there was “no cause for concern.”
She told UK newspaper Express, “I had been sent quite a few messages by the SkinVision team but thought that my GP must know better than my phone. Then I started getting intermittent sharp, needle-like pains and it started to itch so I decided to seek a second opinion.”
It turns out Killian had basal cell carcinoma (BCC), which is the most frequently occurring of all cancers. She credits the app for recognizing it as cancer, saying, “I was able to show them the changes I had seen using the photos saved on the app…[it] definitely helped me to keep track of changes in my skin.”
Of course, it’s worth noting that a smartphone app should not act as a substitute for professional medical care or advice, but in this case, it certainly seems like the app helped Killian reach the diagnosis she sensed was correct.
This is an important reminder to be your own biggest advocate when it comes to your health, and we sincerely hope Killian is on the road to a speedy recovery.