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Cancer

HOW CAN SKIN CANCER BE DIAGNOSED MORE QUICKLY?

By using our powerful magnifying glass.

CancerSkin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. Early detection is crucial, as skin cancer can spread quickly unless it's removed. 

The VivaScope, a giant magnifying glass that can detect skin cancer in seconds, makes it much easier to detect cancerous skin cells early on. It’s currently being tested at The St John's Institute of Dermatology at Guy's and St Thomas’ Hospital. The internationally-renowned institute is the largest referral centre in the UK for skin cancer.

The machine produces instant images of skin layers up to a depth of two millimetres using a harmless, high-powered laser. The resulting image is so detailed that it's effectively a non-invasive biopsy. The dermatologist puts a small pad on the mole or affected skin, then directs the laser at the area. Scans then highlight anything abnormal in the cells.

The VivaScope will make a significant difference to how we diagnose and treat skin cancer. It will:

  • reduce the number of precautionary biopsies
  • offer a more definitive and immediate diagnosis 
  • be used to ensure that after surgery, all of the skin cancer has been successfully removed

The St John's Institute is now the best-equipped skin imaging unit in the UK because of the VivaScope. It gives us the opportunity to become a world-leading centre for skin cancer research.

This remarkable piece of equipment was purchased through a donation made by the Guy's and St Thomas' Charity. Being able to purchase this kind of equipment keeps us at the forefront of medical innovation and truly enhances the care we can offer. Please support our work, so we can continue to support our patients.

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