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Pharmacies & Dermatologists Join Forces to Fight Cancer

Media release 25 December 2012
Pharmacies & Dermatologists Join Forces to Fight Cancer

A new MoleMap service will launch in pharmacies this week to make life-saving melanoma diagnosis more accessible to Kiwis.

MoleMap Spot Checks will be launched at selected pharmacies to increase public uptake of skin lesion diagnosis.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in New Zealand; around 45,000 Kiwis are affected each year, with about 320 dying from the disease annually.

MoleMap CEO Adrian Bowling says he's excited to be able to offer a MoleMap service in pharmacy which will make lesion diagnosis both more affordable and convenient to Kiwis.

"Often people notice changes in a mole but may put off doing something until it's too late, now it's something they can get checked out in the mall during their lunch hour, without the need for an appointment."

Auckland dermatologist and MoleMap medical director Dr Mark Gray says it’s important that Kiwis and their partners take more notice of lesions on their skin and particularly those that fall into the 'ugly duckling' category.

This category is used by skin cancer researchers to explain the theory that moles on individuals generally tend to resemble one another, and the ones that don’t are of higher concern, he says.

Dr Gray says when one mole seems to fall outside of the norm it is worth having a medical professional take a closer look at it.

"Other criteria that we need to keep an eye out for fall into the 'A,B,C,D,E' features, namely Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Colour variability, Diameter greater than 6mm and its Evolution or change," he says.

Those worried about a mole can have lesions of concern checked in one visit to these selected pharmacies.

The trained pharmacist or pharmacy staff member will take images of the lesions using the latest MoleMap custom designed melanoma camera.

This image will then be sent by a secure link to a panel of MoleMap registered dermatologists along with a patient history and details for review.

Patients can then expect a diagnosis report within a few days.

Bowling says the new service is a first step for those people wanting immediate screening for particular lesions they have identified - from there they may be referred to a more comprehensive melanoma screening with a full body MoleMap or to their doctor or a specialist for further assessment or treatment.

Pharmacybrands CEO Alan Wham says the new service offers convenience and accessibility to consumers who otherwise may not seek advice concerning skin lesions.

“This type of service can only be delivered with good collaboration and expert diagnosis, in this case provided by dermatologists. We are piloting the new service at Life Pharmacy St Lukes, Glenfield and Albany,” he says.


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