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Orit Markowitz, MD: How to Distinguish Skin Cancer from Less Dangerous Skin Conditions

An interview with Dr. Markowitz on her presentation at SDPA 2022 presentation entitled ‘Skin of Color,’ regarding differentiating skin cancer from other conditions.

In an interview with HCPLive, Orit Markowitz, MD, discussed the details of one of her SDPA 20th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference presentations entitled ‘Skin of color.’

Markowitz serves as a dermatologist and skin cancer specialist, as well as CEO and Founder of Markowitz Medical. She is known for her work in developing minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment protocols for skin cancer.

The presentation highlighted ways to distinguish pigmented squamous and pigmented basal cell skin cancers and melanomas, from other, less dangerous skin conditions.

“So I think that one of the underrepresented topics in skin cancer as well as in dermoscopy, is definitely skin of color,” she explained. “And so I, you know, one frequent request is how do you convince patients of all skin types that skin exams are important. And one of the ways of course, is to show examples of skin cancers in diverse skin types. And so that was really a lot of what I tried to relay in the skin of color dermoscopy lecture.”

Markowitz also explained that in the US, squamous cell skin cancer death is a more common cause of death than melanoma, the latter of which is often believed to be a bigger cause of death.

“People often assume that melanoma is the most common and deadliest form of skin cancer, but in the US, we lose more people to squamous cell skin cancer each year,” she said. “And squamous cell is actually the most common type of skin cancer in darker skin types as opposed to basal cell, which is more common in more fair skin types. So I thought that was a really key point worth reviewing and going over how to catch early pigmented squamous cells.”

Markowitz also explained the critical need for dermoscopy to evaluate pigmented lesions, although she stressed that recognition of patterns alone may not always be enough to make an accurate diagnosis by a dermatologist or physician associate.

Additionally, her presentation explored different ways to distinguish melanomas or pigmented squamous and pigmented basal cell skin cancers from different and less deadly conditions.

For more on Markowtiz’s presentation ‘Skin of color’ from SDPA 2022, view the interview segment above.