Dermatological cancer screening: Evaluation of a new community pharmacy service

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Skin cancer accounts for one third of all cancers. Prognosis is inversely related to identification stage.


To describe a novel service, mole scans, performed in community pharmacy, the findings from the first 3.5 years it was in place, and to explore patient acceptability of the service.


Norwegian Boots' pharmacies offer a mole scanning service in cooperation with ScreenCancer. Scans are undertaken within pharmacy consultation rooms. Image interpretation is undertaken remotely by a specialist. Number and result of scans performed from 2010 to 2014 are reported. A satisfaction questionnaire was returned by 10% of participants.


A total of 25836 scans were performed on 15777 individuals. Of these, 83.6% had normal scans, 1% had melanoma, and 15.4% had another skin condition. In 2014 the service identified 4.1% of melanoma cases registered in the Norwegian Cancer Registry. Most responders (88%) would use a similar service again. Nearly all (99%) felt the pharmacy was a suitable venue, and 95% would recommend the service to others. In total, 99% of respondents scored their overall satisfaction as “good” or higher.


This approach was acceptable among participants who provided feedback. Providing mole scanning through pharmacies enables individuals to obtain a rapid check of moles causing concern, in an acceptable environment with a high level of satisfaction.

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