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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2006, 11:54 GMT
New scanner spots fatal cancers
Skin cancer scanner
A scanner is helping detect cancer at Addenbrooke's Hospital
A scanner to help detect skin cancer is being pioneered at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and its developer wants it used in GP practices.

The Siascope probes the skin with light to discover if a mole is malignant.

Consultant Per Hall said: "We've shown through our research we can pick up melanoma with this medical tool.

"If we can now train GPs and their nurses to use the machine to scan moles we may see a significant reduction in mortality from this terrible disease."

The machine can produce an image of a mole or lesion within seconds and an experienced doctor or nurse can tell from this if it is benign or something that will require further treatment.

The machines, which cost under 10,000, were first introduced in 2000 and about 200 are in use across the world.

The latest models are much more compact and Dr Hall and his research team are assessing their suitability to doctors' surgeries and are carrying out a survey in the Cambridge area.

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