As we get older, our bodies change. Not only do they change in size, but lumps, bumps, moles, spots and blemishes that weren’t there before begin to appear.

In most cases, this is nothing to worry about and just a sign that you are getting older, but if you are worried, it’s always best to check just to be sure – especially for everyone living here in Spain, where our exposure to the sun in much greater than when we lived in the UK.

And, yes, for many, a trip to the medical centre or hospital might seem like a load of hassle – it’s not really when your health is concerned, but for all those with that mindset, why not start off by using one of the skin cancer-detecting apps featured below?

When it comes to an early cancer diagnosis via your smartphone, the focus currently is on signs of skin cancer. Due to the easy integration in which smartphone cameras can capture, record, and interpret potential skin abnormalities, an entire market has emerged. Leading the charge are popular apps such as SkinVision, Doctor Mole, and MoleScope, which all have similar protocols and features.

First, the user captures an image of their mole with the smartphone’s camera or enhanced lens attachment. Next, each program uses advanced technology to perform tasks that analyse things such as the Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter, and Evolution (ABCDE) of the mole.

From there, the image and analysis are saved so the user can track and record each potential skin abnormality.

Where Technology Meets Reality

What should be made clear is that, at this stage in app development, a two-dimensional smartphone photograph interpreted by a computer algorithm cannot replace a full skin examination by a knowledgeable and expert doctor.

The other major drawback is the fact that these apps can give the user a false sense of security if a skin cancer diagnosis is missed or delayed, leading to a lack or delay of treatment. Given the fact that the current accuracy is still not even close to 100 percent, putting your health solely in the hands of these new apps could potentially prove to be fatal.

The current consensus is that this technology, as it functions at the present time, can increase the awareness and body consciousness of the user. Working along with your doctor, increased awareness and the ability to track and report most certainly holds promise. Yet a stand-alone system to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner still appears far from reality.

There simply is no shortcut when it comes to leading a cancer-free lifestyle. If you prefer the old-fashioned way, the ABCDE method of skin self-checks remains a time-tested technique for spotting early signs of skin cancer.

For more information on these apps, please visit the following links: