Advanced Skin Cancer Screening (ASCS)
Research Collaboration

Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings are part of a research collaboration with Skin Cancer Free and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to advance skin cancer research.

Our Objectives

  • Provide over 100,000 participants with Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings.
  • Provide payment assistance for Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings for people not currently seeing a dermatologist for their skin care or not able to afford the full cost of a complete Advanced Skin Cancer Screening.
  • Support the development and delivery of methodologies and technologies to detect melanoma and other skin cancers earlier.
  • Improve overall skin cancer survival rates.
  • Provide support for research and clinical studies to document the effect of early skin cancer screenings.
  • Support and promote efforts that will lead to eventual health care coverage for early skin cancer screenings by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance providers.

Are you a Primary Care Physician, Dermatologist, or Employer?

You Can Be An Important Part Of This Collaboration

If you are a Primary Care Physician, we can help you add a bold new service to your practice to help fight melanoma.

We’ll make a trained Dermographer available to perform Advanced Skin Cancer Screening examinations for your patients or in your office.  We can help you add revenue to your practice without additional cost.

If you are a Dermatologist, you can play an important part in our Advanced Skin Cancer Screening Collaboration.

You can provide direct support for our Research Collaboration as a Regional Care Physician. We can refer new patients to you who aren’t currently seeing a dermatologist and who have been identified as needing follow-up care.  We’ll be able to give you highly specific images that we’ve taken of suspicious areas and lesions on a Research Participant’s skin in our Research Collaboration.

If you’re an employer, or if you work for a company, Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings can be a life and cost saving part of your company wellness program.

People are a company’s most valuable asset, and keeping everyone healthy is good for the business.  Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings can be given to all employees as part of your company’s benefit plan.

Have questions about Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings?

Are you considering an Advanced Skin Cancer Screening for you or someone you know?

About Your Advanced Skin Cancer Screening

Why is an Advanced Skin Cancer Screening necessary?

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States; in fact, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. People of all colors and races can get skin cancer. There are many different types of skin cancer, including actinic keratoses (AK), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. BCC and SCC are the most common forms of skin cancer, but melanoma is the most deadly. With early detection and proper treatment, the cure rate for BCC and SCC is about 95 percent. When melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. An Advanced Skin Cancer Screening helps people find early skin cancers.

Is the Advanced Skin Cancer Screening free of charge?

Not usually. We expect you to pay for the direct services involved in your screening if you can afford it. If you cannot afford the screening, we’ll try to use one of our funds to pay for the cost. Talk to us about your personal situation.

Who will provide the skin cancer screening?

A trained dermographer under the supervision of a board-certified dermatologist will do your examination and take detailed images of any suspicious area. Those images will be uploaded and examined by a dermatologist who has been trained to detect skin cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.

How long with the screening take?

Screenings take approximately 15-30 minutes, including completing the medical history form, getting your skin checked, and getting all images taken for examination. You can make this faster by completing your medical history form before your examination over the internet. We’ll send you a link when your screening is scheduled.

Which areas of my body will be screened?

A full-body screening including those areas normally covered by underwear can be provided if you desire. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends full-body screenings whenever possible. If you do not wish a full-body examination, all areas except those covered by underwear will be examined.

Will the screening take the place of my yearly exam with my dermatologist or physician?

If you are regularly seeing a dermatologist who is providing skin cancer examinations, a screening may not be required. If your primary care physician is not currently providing screenings on a regular basis, we recommend an Advanced Skin Cancer Screening annually.

Can I ask the dermographer to look at my skin for other dermatologic conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, etc.?

The dermographer does Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings only. If you have other skin conditions that are concerning you, we recommend seeing a doctor or dermatologist.

Why do I have to complete a medical history form?

The Personal Health Information (PHI) form is used to record your prior medical history with both the dermographer and the dermatologist examining your images. The document also gives you an electronic record of this information and should be used for follow-up treatment with your dermatologist if a suspicious lesion is found. The information provided at the bottom of the form communicates your rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Your signature is required to demonstrate your acknowledgement of these rights.

How will you use my personal information?

We are committed to maintaining the highest level of confidentiality regarding the information that we collect, use, maintain, and disclose about you. Your information is used and disclosed only for the Study’s mission-related activities and operations, and in other limited circumstances such as when required for law enforcement or for public health activities.  Your personal identifying information is not used as part of the research history.

If a follow-up is required, what if I don’t have health insurance?

If you are told that you have a suspicious spot on your skin that could be skin cancer and that should be seen by a doctor or dermatologist, and you do not have health insurance, you can still get medical care. A Regional Care Physician is available to help you or we can help you find medical resources.

Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Fair skin

Anyone, regardless of skin color, can get skin cancer. However, having less pigment (melanin) in your skin provides less protection from damaging UV radiation. If you have blond or red hair and light-colored eyes, and you freckle or sunburn easily, you’re much more likely to develop skin cancer than is a person with darker skin.

A history of sunburns

Having had one or more blistering sunburns as a child or teenager increases your risk of developing skin cancer as an adult. Sunburns in adulthood also are a risk factor.

Excessive sun exposure

Anyone who spends considerable time in the sun may develop skin cancer, especially if the skin isn’t protected by sunscreen or clothing. Tanning, including exposure to tanning lamps and beds, also puts you at risk. A tan is your skin’s injury response to excessive UV radiation.

Sunny or high-altitude climates

People who live in sunny, warm climates are exposed to more sunlight than are people who live in colder climates. Living at higher elevations, where the sunlight is strongest, also exposes you to more radiation.


People who have many moles or abnormal moles called dysplastic nevi are at increased risk of skin cancer. These abnormal moles — which look irregular and are generally larger than normal moles — are more likely than others to become cancerous. If you have a history of abnormal moles, watch them regularly for changes.

Precancerous skin lesions

Having skin lesions known as actinic keratoses can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. These precancerous skin growths typically appear as rough, scaly patches that range in color from brown to dark pink. They’re most common on the face, head and hands of fair-skinned people whose skin has been sun damaged.

A family history of skin cancer

If one of your parents or a sibling has had skin cancer, you may have an increased risk of the disease.

A personal history of skin cancer.

If you developed skin cancer once, you’re at risk of developing it again.

A weakened immune system

People with weakened immune systems have a greater risk of developing skin cancer. This includes people living with HIV/AIDS and those taking immunosuppressant drugs after an organ, stem cell, or any other transplant requiring immunosuppression.

Exposure to radiation

People who received radiation treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and acne may have an increased risk of skin cancer, particularly basal cell carcinoma.

Exposure to certain substances

Exposure to certain substances, such as arsenic, may increase your risk of skin cancer.

Collaboration Overview and ASCS Details


Improving skin cancer survival rates

The Research Collaboration
Developing methodologies to improve skin cancer survival rates.

Specific objectives are:

  1. To prove that qualified technologists equipped with ultra-high resolution imaging and supporting technology can work with remote Dermatologists to identify developing skin cancers earlier.
  2. To expand skin cancer screening to people who may not be currently seeing a dermatologist, or who, for economic or other reasons, are not getting regular skin examinations.
  3. To optimize Dermatologist time and allow faster identification of patients who require follow-up care.
  4. To allow local physicians a way to provide enhanced skin cancer screening as part of their practice.
  5. To provide data that will clearly demonstrate the value of early skin cancer detection.
  6. To provide data that will lead to health insurance coverage for the cost of these exams.
  7. To advance research in melanoma screening.


Book an ASCS Examination

Skin Cancer Free

  • We solicit and provide funding for all Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings.
  • We collect Advanced Skin Cancer Screening fees from Employers, Corporate Donors, Individual Contributors, and Individuals.
  • A portion of every Advanced Skin Cancer Screening fee can be tax-deductible (all pure contributions are 100% tax deductible) for businesses providing examinations for their employees.
  • A portion of every Advanced Skin Cancer Screening fee is allocated to subsidizing the cost of Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings for people who may not be currently seeing a dermatologist, and who, for economic or other reasons, are not getting regular skin examinations.
  • We manage all costs associated with Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings and make sure HIPAA compliance is maintained for all health data.
  • We offer Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings as part of:
    • Employee Health Fairs or Benefit programs.
    • Community Outreach Centers.
    • Regularly scheduled local examinations.
  • Personal Advanced Skin Cancer Screenings can be booked directly on our website.
  • We assign a Regional Care Physician to monitor your Advanced Skin Cancer Screening results and provide medical follow-up if necessary or desired.


Confirm and receive an ASCS Examination


  • We confirm your Advanced Skin Cancer Screening time by email and create your personal DermCloud™ Research Participant Portal™;
  • You complete a simple health background questionnaire on-line;
  • You show up for your Advanced Skin Cancer Screening and sign your health questionnaire and consent form;
  • Over the next 15-20 minutes a highly trained Certified DermDetect Demographer gives you a complete Advanced Skin Cancer Screening.
  • Detailed images are taken of any suspicious areas on your skin using highly specialized equipment.
  • Each detailed image is uploaded electronically to our secure DermCloud™ ASCS Review Portal™ for analysis.
  • We notify your assigned Regional Care Physician and OHSU that your Advanced Skin Cancer Screening results are available to be reviewed.


Your Examination Images Are  Reviewed By A Skilled Dermatologist

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

  • A highly skilled OHSU Dermatologist analyzes and digitally codes each image:
    • Green: Nothing to worry about.
    • Yellow: Lesion needs to be re-imaged.
    • Red:  Should be reviewed immediately by a local physician.
  • A complete report detailing the results of your examination is added to your DermCloud™ Research Participant Portal™.
  • DermDetect and your Regional Care Physician are notified that your results are available.


Your Examination Results are delivered to you


  • You’re notified by secure email that your ASCS images and results are available for viewing.
  • You can share these results with your personal physician or dermatologist using your DermCloud™ Research Participant Portal™.
  • If you don’t currently have a personal physician or dermatologist your assigned Regional Care Physician can be seen if a follow-up is suggested.
  • A follow-up Advanced Skin Cancer Screening may be offered if any “Yellows” were identified.
  • Your personal physician or Regional Care Physician is contacted to obtain follow-up results for further research.


Your anonymous examination results may help others

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

As part of an Advanced Skin Cancer Screening, you will be given the opportunity to join the research study in which:

  • Your identifying data is removed from your Advanced Skin Cancer Screening results and images.
  • All of your results become part of a research database.
  • Your results will be used for a research study which aims to improve skin cancer early detection and identification.
  • Your research results will continue to help others over the coming years.