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3-D surgery catches, cures skin cancer


Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States. Every eight minutes, someone will be diagnosed. Now, science is moving forward to detect it sooner and cure it faster. Surgery to find it is going 3-D.

Photoacoustic tomography uses laser light and sound waves to create a 3-D image of the cancer inside the body.

The images produced help surgeons see a tumor more clearly and improve contrast between malignant and normal tissues.

“Using our technology, we can see the tumor as well as the surrounding blood vessels,” said biomedical engineer Dr. Younan Xia.

Researchers believe the 3-D imaging will be invaluable for detecting and treating a variety of cancers, including breast and prostate cancers.

Another new technology for more aggressive melanoma is a new compound that triggers cancer cells into self-destructing.

“What we manage to do is trick them into thinking they are being attacked or infected by a virus,” said dermatologist Maria Soengas.

Melanoma kills 10,000 people every year. Doctors say early detection is key.

Studies show if caught early, melanoma can be stopped in its tracks.

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