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CPC 2022 Programme

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A Practical Review of Red Flags & Referrals in Dermatology using Dermatoscopy

13 May 2022
MORPh Clinical Training theatre

Patients will often ask pharmacists about concerning skin lesions. Since 1990, there has been a 135% increase in malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer incidence, which is still rising and estimated to peak in 2027.1 Malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK.1   Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to improve survival rates. Melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma fall into the NICE guidelines of ‘Two Week Wait’ for immediate referral to a specialist, due to the potential to metastasise and become life threatening cancers.2

Assessment and history of the presenting lesion of concern and risk factors is very important. The lesion or naevi should be examined to identify features that distinguish between a normal lesion or one of concern. It is also important to examine all the other moles on the person’s skin, ideally with a full skin check, to compare how the lesion of concern differs or has changed. Learning dermosocpy skills is essential to help distinguish between common benign skin lesions and lesions of concern to ensure timely 2WW referrals.

This practical presentation will look at skin lesion recognition and introduce dermosocpy for pharmacists. The learning outcomes are:

       Understand how to conduct a skin assessment and take a history for lesions of concern

       Increase knowledge on recognition of common benign skin lesions and be alerted to signs and symptoms of skin cancer

       Be introduced to dermsocopy


1. Cancer research UK. Melanoma skin cancer incidence statistics. Available at: https://www. statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/melanoma-skin- cancer [last accessed April 2022]

2. NICE. Referral for suspected skin cancer. 2021. Available at: cancers-recognition-referral/management/referral-for- suspected-skin-cancer/ [last accessed April 2022]

Prepared April 2022

Helen Liddell, MORPh Clinical Director, Senior PCN Pharmacist - Yorkshire Health Network
Julie Van Onselen, Dermatology Lecturer Practitioner - Dermatology Education Partnership Ltd


Lead Education Partner

  • CPPE
  • Morph


Education Partner

  • BOPA
  • BPNG
  • CMHP
  • Health Education England


Education Partner

  • NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • NHS Digital
  • NHSx
  • PTOC
  • GPHC


Education Partner

  • NPPG
  • PCPA
  • PDA
  • Pharmacist Support
  • RPUK
  • SPS


Education Partner

  • Soar Beyond
  • NHCA
  • PrescQIPP
  • Pharmacy Declares
  • GHP and RPS


Media Partner

  • C&D
  • PDA
  • PrescQIPP
  • Scottish Healthcare Review
  • Welsh Healthcare Review
  • NI Healthcare Review
  • Prescriber


Nominated Charity

  • Pharmacist Support


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