People in Windsor were able to get checked for Melanoma and skin cancer on Friday on a free mobile skin cancer screening unit. They were also educated on how to self-screen for melanoma and skin cancer, while emphasizing on the importance of sunscreen.
The travelling pop up was brought to WIndsor by Melanoma Canada, a registered charity.
“This is really helpful for people trying to get cancer control,” said Andy Jun, a patient at the Mole Mobile skin cancer screening unit on wheels.
Jun said he has cancer history in his family and one of the main reasons is because they found out too late, “If you prevent cancer from happening, your chance of survival is 100 per cent, when you find at stage four all you can do is suffer, slow death.”
The wait time at the mole mobile was approximately 1-2 hours. People had the opportunity to either sign up ahead of time or walk in. Melanoma Canada said about 85 people were screened on Friday.
“I would rather wait hours to see somebody instead of waiting for months or weeks to go see a doctor,” Jun said.
Jun said about 10 years ago, he had to cross the border to get checked,.
“I had some kind of mole and and spot on my body and I had to check it Henry Ford in Detroit, Michigan. I heard about this free clinic which I don’t have to wait months and weeks to see a doctor, so that’s I took the opportunity and go check.”
The mole mobile skin cancer screening unit on wheels will be visiting major Canadian cities with long wait times to see a dermatologist, undeserved communities, rural and indigenous regions to help speed up the time to diagnosis.
The mole mobile skin cancer screening unit on wheels will be visiting major Canadian cities with long wait times to see a dermatologist, underserved communities, rural and indigenous regions to help speed up the time to diagnosis. (Lamia Abozaid/CBC)
Not enough dermatologists in Canada
“It’s kind of Plan B, but it’s it is a useful Plan B,” said Dr. Mike Connolly, a retired dermatologist from Niagara Falls, Ontario who has donated his time to help screen people on the mole mobile.
Connolly added with people having to wait months for an appointment, this mobile clinic can put their minds at ease.
“It’d be nice if everybody had enough family physicians or enough dermatologist and you know you could get into your family doctor in the time of the fashion and you could go on to the dermatologist in a timely fashion, but unfortunately just not the way that things are now,” he added.
Connolly said another way would be to speed up the licensing process for health care workers, “they would be a very valuable resource.”
“Certainly it has changed and I think the time for getting an appointment is longer now than it has been in the past,” said Connolly.
Connolly believes the number of people who have melanoma or skin cancer in Canada is a lot more than when he first started practicing because of the current way of life, “one thing I would encourage people to change is their sun exposure, anything in particular like tanning beds in a very important part of melanoma.”
“Melanomas are very serious, some cancer that often affects young people in the prime of life and that it is a very aggressive cancer that has to be picked up and treated them quickly,” said Connolly.
Falyn Katz, the CEO for Melanoma Canada, echoed the need for more dermatologists in Canada.
“This is really meant to shine light on the problem and to be a temporary solution, we need more rapid access clinics, we need those cancer screening to take place a lot quicker” said Katz.
“We need more health care professionals, we need them now,” she added.
The mole mobile will be in Chatham-Kent Saturday. More information can be found here.