Haidressers training to prevent skin cancer

24 Mar 2012, 05:23
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skin cancer

Hairdressers should receive special trainings which give an chance to detect skin cancer, melanoma in particular, health professionals think. There is no compulsory screening programme in the United Kingdom, despite the fact that this kind of cancer is one of the most common one.

About 100,000 new cases of skin cancer (along with the most dangerous type - melanoma) are found every year in the United Kingdom. The problem is that many cases are undetected for decades, which cause a profound effect on treatment and the chance of being cured.


The aforementioned melanoma, especially malignant melanoma – the most harmful type, kills about 2,500 per year in the UK. It is interesting to know, that most cases are easily preventable. The main cause of skin cancer is too much ultraviolet light from sunbeds or the sun. The number of cases caused by one of UV light sources is increasing every year.

The biggest group of risk are people with fair, flecked skin and a considerable number of moles. Early signs of skin cancer may include itching, bleeding, moles size and colour changes. The location of cancer skin tumours occur usually on the legs in women and the back for men.


Only in 5 percents of cases the head or neck are affected. Because cancer signs on the scalp and the back of the neck are hard to notice, experts think that hairdresser are ideal for spotting these.

An article in the latest edition of the American Academy of Dermatology journal suggest that improvement of early detection of skin cancer is crucial for treating people on early stages. Hairdressers and their unique relationship with potential victims of cancer are fundamental for this process.

Of course hairdressers are not expected to make any kind of diagnosis. Instead they have an opportunity to provide information about any suspicious moles, lumps they detect to their clients.

A research conducted by Nottingham City Hospital National Health Service Trust showed that most of the hairdressers were keen to take more responsibility in order to help their clients detect skin cancer.

In 2010, a special set of guidelines for hairdressers were produced to help them identify three types of skin cancer: malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

A British Association of Dermatologist pointed out on possible dangers of giving to hairdressers and beauty therapist limited amount of basic trainings.

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