Melanoma UK Criticises Boots Mole Checks

Melanoma superficial spreading

Warnings from Melanoma UK

Melanoma UK, a charity dedicated to skin cancer, has criticised high street giant Boots’ new mole scanning service.

Boots launched their Mole Scanning Service in 50 stores due to the rise in melanoma in the UK. Incidence rates have increased by 119% since the early 90s and melanoma is the fastest growing form of skin cancer. Yet 40% of Brits don’t regularly check for worrying moles.

Boots’ mole checking service is intended to help patients to identify whether their moles were any cause for concern. After completion of a questionnaire, a detailed scan/photograph of the mole is taken using Boots’ SIAscope. The images are then sent onto ScreenCancer UK for analysis and 7 days later, the patient will receive an email report to advise whether it is a potential risk and recommend further actions.

Melanoma UK

Dermatologist Dr Christian Aldridge and medical advisor for Melanoma UK, said:

“The issue here is what happens if/when the nurse calls.

“They have only taken a detailed picture of your mole. If they think it’s suspicious they will tell you to see your GP. They cannot do anything else.

“They cannot recommend you see a dermatologist privately to have it removed. They will tell you to print off the report, show it your GP (who do not regularly read siascope reports) and to ask for referral/removal of mole. So, this is a private service, which then relies on the already heavily in-demand NHS to do its work for it.

“The Boots service is not providing an excision of mole service – it’s providing an opinion on a picture – essentially triaging the mole.”

Gill Nuttall, CEO of Melanoma UK, added:

“I’m really disappointed that a large organisation like Boots has found an opportunity to make a profit from this service.

“Perhaps the fear element will get the better of some people, but I’d have been far happier to see Boots offer their assistance for free and really try to make a difference to the alarming increase in the rates of melanoma.”

Boots Reply

Boots have responded to defend their service. A spokesperson said:

“…Our customers tell us that they really value this choice of being able to conveniently access healthcare services and so we have been offering private services alongside NHS Services to support our patients for a number of years. The service, which is provided by ScreenCancer UK at Boots stores, has already identified 1 in 10 moles* scanned needed a follow up.

“…Any customer who has any concerns about a mole or pigmented lesion can also visit their GP to assess whether it requires further investigation. In addition, we have always been committed to helping our customers protect their skin from the sun and remind customers to follow safe sun guidelines by minimising time in the sun, seeking shade and using suitable sun protection.”

Private Mole Checks & Removal

The London Mole Removal Centre is a private company, offering checks and treatment for unwanted moles and other skin lesions (cysts, skin tags, warts, verruca, lipoma etc).

All consultations and treatments are carried out in person by doctors who are specially trained in the latest laser and skin surgery techniques and are highly experienced in the field.

Further advantages of private treatment at the London Mole Removal Centre include:

  • No waiting lists
  • Moles can often be removed in the same appointment as the consultation
  • Choice of clinics in London and also Bristol
  • Removed moles tested with report provided

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7731 3791.