It’s a fact—there’s a skin cancer epidemic, says Chapel Hill, NC dermatologist and co-founder of Modern Ritual Health, Beth Goldstein, MD. “More than 40 percent of the U.S. lack access to dermatologists, with many patients who do have access waiting four or more months to be seen. There aren’t enough dermatologists. This is where we saw the biggest opportunity to make a change.” Dr. Goldstein works alongside her daughter, Elianna Goldstein, on their company, Modern Ritual which is bringing dermatology to local communities across the US.
Dermatology Assessments in Your Local Pharmacy, Primary Care Clinic, or At-Home
Modern Ritual provides local access to tele-dermatology, even skin cancer screenings, bringing greater access to care. Modern Ritual provides all the supplies needed to take high-quality images of the spot in question and has a dermatology provider analyze and review the images, providing back a recommendation and if needed prescriptions. “Patients learn in real time if it’s something that needs to be seen immediately or if they can wait a few weeks,” she explains. “The assessment will describe whether the spot is suspicious and denote whether it is a level one, which is normal, level two for somewhat abnormal, level three for abnormal and level four for very abnormal.”
“If the recommendation is at a level four, it’s likely a rapidly growing squamous cell, a melanoma, and the dermatologist will advise that you’ll need to be seen within a few days,” she adds. In addition, when needed Modern Ritual will help with care navigation for those urgent cases where people need to be seen quickly.
“Time matters. Morbidity and mortality matters,” stresses Dr. Goldstein. “If you have a much more aggressive disease, if you’re not treated within six to eight weeks, it could impact your chances of a melanoma spreading.”
Early detection has several advantages over treatment of late-stage melanoma. “A study showed that early detection of invasive melanomas decreased both morbidity and invasiveness,” adds the doctor. It can also reduce the size and extent of surgical removal and help avoid side effects that some late-stage patients experience. “It matters if it’s detected and treated within a month to six weeks. So, there should be urgency about getting checked and treated once you figure it out. That’s what we’re also solving.”