Pilot mole scanning service in Bexleyheath

PUBLISHED: 09:58 20 October 2015 | UPDATED: 09:58 20 October 2015

Doctor writing

Doctor writing


The service will help detect patients who have a type of skin cancer

A Bexleyheath pharmacy has launched a pilot mole screening service to help detect patients who have a type of skin cancer.

The disease is now the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with more than 2,000 people dying from malignant melanomas.

Skin cancer can affect people of all ages, but some are at a higher risk than others of developing a malignant melanoma.

Those people most at risk include people with fair skin that burns easily, lots of moles or freckles, red or fair hair, anyone who was frequently sunburnt as a child or has a family history of skin cancer.

Patients being treated with immunosuppressive drugs are also at higher risk of developing a melanoma.

The most common sign is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole, with the most common place for a melanoma to develop being on the lower leg for women and on the back for men.

The Mole Scanning Service provided by Alphega pharmacies, in conjunction with ScreenCancer UK, involves scanning moles on the patient’s body, using innovative imaging technology.

It is described as non-invasive, painless and quick to perform.

The images of the moles are taken in the pharmacy using a SIAscope – an imaging device which emits light that penetrates 2mm below the surface of the skin. One scan provides five different multi-coloured images that reflect the depth and shape of the mole.

The scan is then sent to a ScreenCancer UK Dermatology Specialist for review and patients receive their results within two weeks.

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