New mole scanning service launched

Changes in moles can signal skin cancer
  • Deborah Condon

People who are concerned about moles on their bodies can now avail of a new mole scanning service, which has just been launched.

Around 10,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer in Ireland every year and one of the signs of this disease can be a change in a person's moles, such as changes in colour, size or shape.

Boots Ireland, in conjunction with ScreenCancer UK, has launched a new mole scanning service at 10 of its pharmacies nationwide. This allows people over the age of 18 to have their moles or pigmented lesions scanned using a special device called a SIAscope.

This scan will then be assessed by a skin specialist and the person will receive a report based on the assessment.

This service does not provide a diagnosis of skin cancer, however if a suspicious lesion is found, the person will be referred to a doctor for follow-on treatment.

If found early, up to 90% of skin cancer cases are curable.

As part of this new service, people will also be provided with guidance on assessing their own moles using the ABCDE guide, and given further advice on how to stay safe in the sun.

The ABCDE guide advises people to monitor moles for:

-A: Asymmetry (irregular shape). The two halves of a mole should be symmetrical
-B: Borders. Look for unclear, irregular or ragged boundaries against normal skin
-C: Colour. Look for changes in colour, especially black, blue or uneven colours
-D: Diameter: Look for more than 5-6mm in diameter and changes in size
-E: Evolving. Look for changes in shape, size and colour, itching or bleeding of existing moles, or a new mole.

The service costs €39 for one mole to be scanned and €19 for each additional scan, up to a maximum of four moles. It is available at the following Boots pharmacies:

-St Stephen's Green, Dublin city centre
-Swords, Co Dublin
-Castlebar, Co. Mayo
-Shop Street, Galway city centre
-Killarney, Co Kerry
-Half Moon Street, Cork
-Letterkenny Retail Park, Donegal
-Athlone, Co. Westmeath
-Portlaoise, Co. Laois
-Wexford, Co. Wexford.


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