Within 30 seconds, a scan can determine whether someone has skin cancer, so without cutting.
The Maastricht hospital has the only operational device in the Netherlands that can scan suspicious spots on the body for basal cell carcinoma – the most common form of skin cancer.
The device is called OCT, short for ‘optical coherence tomography’. The research team of skin cancer expert and dermatologist Klara Mosterd of the MUMC+ showed that the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma in patients with a scan is just as reliable as with a biopsy. They cut tissue away for research. A biopsy is painful and does not immediately give a result, unlike the OCT.
Skin cancer most common
One in five Dutch people develop skin cancer. According to Professor Mosterd, this indicates that there is also a need for an efficient care path for this common form of skin cancer: “Fewer biopsies and therefore fewer consultations provide additional capacity for dermatologists in addition to cost savings.” This is essential to cope with the increased demand for skin cancer care, says Mosterd.
“From now on, we can start working on a protocol and the preconditions for rolling out OCT in daily practice, so that more hospitals can start using such a device. Although this will take several years, we have now taken a crucial step “, says Mustard.