Get snacks, socks, coffee, and a cancer screening at your local Lawson!

In general people don’t enjoy getting tested for fatal diseases, but in Kyoto even fewer people than the national average are choosing to get checked out.

Not only is confronting your own mortality kind of a drag, but getting checked for any one of the “big five cancers” (stomach, colon, lung, breast, and cervix) can be extremely inconvenient. It also requires people in rural areas to travel to specialized medical centers or wait for the small windows of time when exams are offered at community centers in their areas.

This is why Kyoto Prefecture is teaming up with major convenience store chain Lawson to provide cancer screenings at some of their over 300 outlets in the area. Starting in fiscal 2016 mobile medical centers will be setup either inside the convenience stores or in their parking lots for anyone interested in some impulse blood testing.

This isn’t the first time either, as Lawson has already started similar programs in four other regions. For example, in Amagasaki, Hyogo medical checkup vehicles would make periodic stops at Lawson stores offering examinations and promoting regular checkups. No additional fees were charged for the convenience, and no reservations were necessary. During 2014, 234 people participated at 16 Lawson locations.

Kyoto plans to begin with a limited number of stores this spring to gauge the effectiveness and decide whether or not to expand the program. Organizers are optimistic, however, with reps saying that “compared to other venues like community centers, this is more conspicuous to the youth and people who don’t regularly get examined” and “by taking advantage of convenience stores, we want screenings to feel close at hand for those who shop there.”

The plan makes sense. I know I would never get my blood pressure checked if those free machines weren’t widely available at drug stores and other facilities. Furthermore, with cancer screening available at convenience stores, I’ll be able to buy a pack of smokes and find out if they’ve begun killing me yet – all in one trip!

Now that’s one-stop shopping.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun (Japanese)
Top Image: Google Maps