Melanoma screening on high street is 'unreliable'

High street skin cancer screening services put patients at risk because they may only spot late-stage melanomas, a leading dermatologist has warned.

Dr Jonathan Bowling, consultant dermatologist at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, said melanoma could not be detected early unless it was actively hunted for by an expert.

'You need to pick these things up when they are small to have an impact on survival,' he said. 'When it is obvious, it is too late.

'To encourage people to go to the high street or to a chemist for skin cancer screening is absolutely, to my mind, wrong, because those people have not seen melanoma.'

Dr Bowling told delegates at a MIMS Dermatology conference last week that there was an 'epidemic' of people willing to offer cancer screening.

But the history-taking and clinical judgment doctors gain from years of training and experience could not be developed on a short course, he said.

'You cannot teach that in one or two weeks to someone who will just be looking at melanoma, waiting to see a melanoma that fits with what they have been told,' he said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

The healthcare crisis in Myanmar - how UK GPs can help

The healthcare crisis in Myanmar - how UK GPs can help

Dr Jim Brockbank from Myanmar UK GP Health Action provides an update on how the military...

GPs warn of 'open floodgates' as 84% say e-consultations have driven up workload

GPs warn of 'open floodgates' as 84% say e-consultations have driven up workload

More than four fifths of GPs say e-consultation systems adopted in the pandemic have...

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Tens of millions of COVID-19 jabs have been administered across England, but how...

Podcast: Greener practice, sharing patient data and additional roles

Podcast: Greener practice, sharing patient data and additional roles

In this episode we look at data extraction from GP records, ask whether the additional...

Red flag symptoms: Loss of consciousness

Red flag symptoms: Loss of consciousness

Red flag symptoms to look out for in presentations of loss of consciousness, including...

£20m fund to speed up second jabs as CCGs told to limit pressure on practices

£20m fund to speed up second jabs as CCGs told to limit pressure on practices

NHS England has announced £20m in funding to help local COVID-19 vaccination sites...