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Cancer Research UK, the British Association of Dermatologists and Team Up to Help GPs Tackle Rising Rates of Skin Cancer

Friday 9 May, 2014
Cancer Research UK, the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) and have teamed up to launch an updated online toolkit to help all GPs diagnose the UK's most common cancer.

Launched today (May 9) in conjunction with BAD's 'Sun Awareness Week', the skin cancer toolkit provides a range of images from real-life, in-clinic cases, to illustrate which lesions require urgent referral, routine referral or are benign.

Investment in the digital toolkit comes as Cancer Research UK announces that rates of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, are now five times higher than 40 years ago.*

The updated toolkit supports GPs in assessing atypical/borderline lesions in a variety of ways, including an image library, a forum that enables them to discuss lesions and share their experience, and clinical cases studies.

GPs will be able to access this important tool on their mobile devices ensuring that it is always accessible. GPs will also be able to record their learning in an online appraisal folder.

The first digital toolkit developed by Cancer Research UK and BAD was launched on in 2012, and helped GPs identify 'red flag' cancer symptoms. An in depth analysis of the programme in 2013 showed that its users had significantly increased their confidence in referring skin lesions. The toolkit was used by over 10,000 GPs and was highly commended in the PM Society Digital Awards 2013.

Nina Goad, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: 'Skin cancer is the UK's most common type of cancer – in fact it is more common than all other cancers combined. One of the problems is that GPs receive very limited training in dermatology – as little as a week – and are then expected to be able to recognise cancerous lesions from a whole host of other issues, and to know which to refer urgently.

'Not only is this a problem for the GPs, but it can also delay the patient accessing a Consultant Dermatologist. This toolkit, available across a range of media platforms, is a simple visual guide, highlighting the differences between the many different types of skin cancer and non-cancerous lesions. We hope it will be bookmarked and used regularly by doctors as it is a very valuable tool.'

Liz Bates, Primary Care Engagement Lead for Cancer Research UK, said: 'GPs are expected to constantly maintain and improve their knowledge, but with increasing demands on their time, we know that GPs are struggling to find time to study. We are committed to providing educational content that is easy to access and targets real problems that GPs face in day-to-day practice. We believe that digital innovations are key to providing the vital information that GPs need at their fingertips.'

Dr James Quekett, a practising GP and director of Educational Services,, commented: 'This much-needed resource provides an excellent, structured, problem-based approach to the diagnosis of malignancy. What is particularly valuable is that it has the input of specialists but it is presented in a format that is useful for the problems GPs encounter in primary care. It moves away from a teaching model into a collaborative learning approach which is much more effective.'




Bristol-Myers Squibb has provided funding to support the development of this toolkit. Bristol-Myers Squibb has had no editorial control over its content. The original toolkit, launched in 2012, was funded by the Department of Health's Third Sector Investment Programme. is the largest and most active network of doctors in the UK, and is part of M3. has a membership of more than 205,000 doctors. It supports them in making the best decisions for their patients, with services including forums for discussion, extensive online education resources and a range of editorial content, such as conference highlights. also offers a range of market-leading services that deliver measurable impact and outcomes to pharma and other healthcare companies. These include targeted display advertising (CPM and CPC), email marketing, e-newsletters, promotional campaigns, educational programmes and recruitment services.

About The British Association of Dermatologists:
The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) is the central association of practising UK dermatologists. Our aim is to continually improve the treatment and understanding of skin disease. The BAD provides free patient information on skin diseases and runs a number of high profile campaigns, including Sun Awareness, which runs from May to September annually and includes national Sun Awareness Week in May. Website: Email: [email protected]

About Cancer Research UK
• Cancer Research UK is the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
• The charity's pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
• Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
• Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
• Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
• Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

About skin cancer:
There are two main types of skin cancer: non-melanoma, the most common, and melanoma, which is less common but more dangerous. The toolkit features images and information on these and also pre-cancerous lesions and a range of others.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, with more than 100,000 new cases diagnosed every year. However, a recent study estimates that rates of the most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), are now twice as high as government statistics suggest and that there are now around 200,000 cases of BCC each year, meaning it has risen 80 per cent over the past decade.

Press Contact:

For media information:
Andrew Baud, Catherine McNulty or Lydia Hayward
T: +44 (0) 20 3397 3383
M: +44 (0) 7775 715775
E: [email protected]

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