Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hospital helps EastEnders legend raise skin cancer awareness with The One Show film

ON MONDAY, BBC’s The One Show featured actress Michelle Collins visiting dermatologists at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust to see how they are helping spot skin cancer more quickly by using tele-dermatology.

Staff use a specialist magnification camera, used with a smart phone or tablet, to help diagnose patients and get them to the right care pathways sooner.

Filming, as part of the piece for BBC One’s The One Show, the film focussed on sun safety and spotting the signs of skin cancer, with Michelle visiting staff at the dermatology unit at Basildon Hospital.

She saw for herself how tele-dermatology is being rolled out into the community and means moles, marks, or lumps can be checked for cancer, with results interpreted faster. 

Anika Khan, a Consultant Dermatologist at the Trust who appears in the film, said: “These devices can confirm or help us rule out cancer in just 48 hours, speeding up patient care, giving peace of mind to many who seek help for their moles or marks. It also allows us to see others, who may have cancer, much quicker, allowing them to start their cancer pathway and treatment sooner.

“It was lovely meeting Michelle, who took a genuine interest in the department, our staff, and what this device can do. Hopefully this film can help put what we do and how we can help people on the map, if it just encourages one viewer to get checked out then it has been worth it.” 

Awareness raising about skin cancer, which is on the rise in the UK, is close to Michelle’s heart as the Cindy Beale actresses’ mum sadly died from terminal skin cancer two years ago. 

Michelle said: “Prevention is better than cure and learning more about the amazing work dermatology staff at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust do has been fascinating. Hopefully this film can help reiterate and educate people about the dangers of harmful UV rays.”  

The short film saw Collins speaking to a dermatologist about the dangers of not covering up or not wearing sun protection.

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