Skin cancer screenings use noninvasive scan technology
The western Canada drug chain said that starting Wednesday, its patient care pharmacists (PCPs) are available for free, one-on-one skin check appointments at stores in its lower mainland market area, including in Vancouver, Langley, Burnaby, Surrey, White Rock, Richmond and North Vancouver, B.C.
During each “Skin Checker” clinic session, the PCPs will utilize Vancouver-based MetaOptima Technology Inc.’s MoleScope device and will review the importance of the “ABCDE” method for mole checks. A noninvasive, mobile mini-microscope, the MoleScope is paired with the pharmacy department’s iPad to create images of a mole of concern selected by the patient. The image is then be sent through a secure network via the app to a local dermatologist, Dr. Jason Rivers, for assessment.
A summary of the skin assessment is emailed to the patient within two business days and, if necessary, a follow-up exam and treatment or referral options are sent to the patient.
“It is extremely important the public understands the risk of overexposure of the sun to our skin,” John Tse, vice president of pharmacy and cosmetics at London Drugs, said in a statement. “With the assistance of lower mainland dermatologist Dr. Jason Rivers, and partnership support from La Roche-Posay, London Drugs’ new Skin Checker clinics will provide individuals with education and awareness, as well as the opportunity to discuss and analyze any skin or mole concerns they might have.”
The Skin Checker clinics also will give patients guidance on sun protection and provide sun care samples. MetaOptima and skin care brand La Roche-Posay announced the 2016 Skin Checker clinics during Melanoma Month in May, and La Roche-Posay is the sponsor of the “Become a #SkinChecker” campaign.
Consumers can go online to the London Drugs website to find out more about its Skin Checker clinics and find a nearby London Drugs store to book an appointment. They can also visit the La Roche-Posay site to get more information about sun protection — including the ABCDE method of identifying and monitoring moles — as well as finding a London Drugs Skin Checker clinic location.
London Drugs noted that according to the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation, one in every three cancers diagnosed worldwide is a skin cancer. More than 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in Canada, over 5,000 of which are melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Canadians born in the 1990s have two to three times higher lifetime risk of getting skin cancer (one in six) than those born in the 1960s (one in 20), according to the foundation.
With 78 drug stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, London Drugs already has helped its customers boost their cancer risk awareness.
In April and May, London Drugs held oral cancer screening clinics at 15 stores in metropolitan Vancouver that used the LED Dental VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System to help detect for oral tissue abnormalities. The clinics followed an oral cancer screening pilot that the drug chain started in April 2015, which the company said represented the first oral cancer screening in a pharmacy.