Maine Hair Stylists, Barbers and Massage Therapists Recruited to Help Spot Skin Cancer | Events

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Maine Hair Stylists, Barbers and Massage Therapists Recruited to Help Spot Skin Cancer

“Skinny on Skin”

March 23, 2015, 12:00-2:00pm,Southern Maine Health Care, Biddeford Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Biddeford, ME, Conference Rooms A and C

Keynote speaker: Amylynne Frankel, MD, SMHC Dermatology, Kennebunk, ME

As with most forms of cancer, the earlier that signs of melanoma are discovered, the better a patient’s odds of survival.

Those signs, which come in the form of abnormal moles or lesions, can be difficult to find when they’re on the back of a person’s head or covered by hair.

If you catch a melanoma at its earliest state, you have a much greater cure rate. Very often, by the time these head and scalp and neck lesions are found, they’re at a later stage.

That’s why the Cancer Care Center of York County, Southern Maine Health Care and the Melanoma Foundation of New England are launching “The Skinny on Skin,” a program aimed at teaching barbers, massage therapists and hairstylists to look for the telltale marks of melanoma, as well as how to talk to clients about those signs when they’re spotted.

You don’t see your doctor more than a couple of times a year, but you see your barber or your hairstylist every six or eight weeks.,” Deb Girard, Executive Director of the Melanoma Foundation of New England said. “About 5 to 8 percent of melanomas are found on the head and scalp. One of the reasons we’re so interested in doing this is that they account for a disproportionate percentage of melanoma deaths compared to other parts of the body. The mortality rate is around 10 percent for those melanomas [found on the head and scalp], so it’s a higher percentage of mortalities to incidence.”

The foundation is co-hosting an event at the Southern Maine Health Care, Biddeford Campus on Monday, March 23, 2015 from 12-2. The event will include trainings for hairstylists, barbers and therapists and demonstrations of the foundation’s ultraviolet facial scanner, designed to detect lurking skin damage.

“It’s going to be a great program for hair and massage professionals,” said Karen Pierce-Stewart, Executive Director of the Cancer Care Center in Sanford, “Melanoma, which is one of three kinds of skin cancer and it’s potentially the deadliest kind of skin cancer.”

This is a free training program with a goal to increase the number of people who are looking at your skin so we can reduce the number of fatal melanomas. There are going to be three and a half million skin cancers diagnosed this year, including almost 80,000 cases of melanoma. Of those, about 10,000 people will die. When you look at those numbers, you start to think about what we can do differently.

To register for this free event, please contact Karen Pierce-Stewart at the Cancer Care Center at 4591606. Lunch will be provided therefore pre-registration (no later than March 10) is required with contact information.