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February 28, 2011 / molehunter

Dermoscopy, a useful technique for early detection of melanoma skin cancer

Greetings fellow mole hunters! This is a hasty post to establish that this new blog which I opened a few minutes ago is up and running. Over the coming weeks I hope to post lots of stuff about various aspects of the fight against melanoma skin cancer. There are three prongs to this attack

education about sun avoidance

-early detection of melanoma skin cancers before they spread

-treatment of metastatic (widespread) melanoma

I am concerned with the second option, early detection. That will be the primary focus of this blog.

I am Dr Stephen Hayes of Southampton. I’m an experienced GP dermatology educator with a particular interest in dermoscopy (or dermatoscopy) for diagnosing skin lesions, including melanoma skin cancers. This technique has been validated by numerous international published studies, incuding a meta analysis in the British Journal of Dermatology by Vestergaard et al in 2008, but is not being rolled out quickly enough in Britain. I don’t know why the delay, given that the death rate from melanoma keeps rising -at around 2,500 per annum its about the same number as road traffic fatalities-and the only proven cure is surgery following early detection, but I had to do something about it. This new blog will look at the subject in the round, but is also a notice board for the new dermoscopy and skin lesion recognition course we are launching.

My consultant dermatologist colleagues Drs Catriona Henderson and Birgit Pees and I are launching a new independent integrated dermoscopy course this summer. It is aimed at GPs dermatology trainees and specialist nurses. Further details will follow. The dates are Friday afternoons 24th June and 14th October both sessions at the Holiday Inn Fareham. Learners will receive digital learning materials and be able to take part in on line tutoring between taught sessions and should develop good enough skills to deploy dermoscopy in their health centres or other places of work as triage tools, to safely reassure and advisethe majority of patients with harmless skin lesions and fast track the others to specialist services.

more later. Please register interest in attending by commenting. I’ll add email contact options later, this blog is barely an hour old.

kind regards

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