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-          Melanoma incidence rates have increased by 119% in the UK since the early 1990s3 –

-          Over three-quarters of young people wouldn’t recognise key signs of melanoma2

 

As part of their mission to raise the health and happiness of the nation, Boots UK is offering, in conjunction with ScreenCancer UK a Mole Scanning Service* to raise awareness of melanoma among young people and try to encourage them, and the rest of the country, to establish a life-long habit of regularly checking their moles.  

Boots UK has assessed data that shows today’s 15-24 year olds are more likely than previous generations to develop melanoma1 in their lifetime. Melanoma is the fastest growing form of skin cancer in the UK and although around half of malignant melanoma cases are currently diagnosed in people 65+, these rates have increased by 119% in the UK since the early 1990s3 and are set to continue rising - making skin cancer an even greater threat to today’s young people in future life.

Despite the rapidly rising rates of melanoma,1 overall awareness is too low and not enough Brits are regularly examining their moles for signs of abnormality – two-fifths (40%) said they never check their skin for indications of the disease2. Even when they do, more than three-quarters (77%) say they would not recognise signs of melanoma.2.

Early detection of melanoma hugely improves survival rates - in 80-90% of cases the melanoma can be removed with no recurrence4 - so it is essential to establish the habit of regular checking and raise awareness of what to look for using the ABCDE melanoma check-list (see call-out box). If your mole is in a difficult place to see as well as reach and protect with SPF, this would be another reason to ensure it’s looked at by a healthcare professional, such as your GP, and not forgotten about simply because it’s not in plain sight.

The quick and convenient Mole Scanning Service, provided by ScreenCancer UK, is available at selected Boots stores across the UK and aims to help people 18 years and above, identify as early as possible anything that needs further investigation.  Using a powerful imaging tool, the SIAscope captures images of five components of the skin across different layers.  A trained Boots Healthcare Advisor captures the images which are swiftly sent onto ScreenCancer UK for analysis by a Dermatology Specialist. If the mole or pigmented lesion is identified as a potential risk, a ScreenCancer Dermatology Nurse will contact the customer directly to discuss next steps.

Richard Bradley, Pharmacy Director, Boots UK, comments;  We know our customers lead very hectic and busy lifestyles and checking moles are probably very low on a person’s priority list, but it is something everyone should be very aware of. If caught early, melanoma can be dealt with quickly and successfully and this is just another fantastic example of how community pharmacists can use their clinical skills to support patients’ health in locations and at times that are convenient to them.”

ScreenCancer representative Donna Smart comments; “The Mole Scanning Service is available on the high street in 50 Boots pharmacies across the UK making it convenient and highly accessible for busy people.  It’s a quick, easy, and painless analysis of moles and pigmented skin lesions. All you need to do is go online to find your nearest location and book an appointment.”

Visit boots.com/molescanning for further information about the service and to book an appointment online.

 

References:

* In selected stores only (50 stores across the UK), charges and eligibility criteria apply, subject to trained staff availability.

  1. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/skin-cancer#heading-Zero
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32579245
  3. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/skin-cancer/incidence#heading-Two
  4. http://www.melanomauk.org.uk/about_melanoma/faqs/