The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2013

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

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Page 46 of 103

FOr HaIrSTYLISTS FOr CLIENTS FOr dErMaTOLOGISTS • Ifyouseesomething,saysomething! Any lesion, spot, bump, or funnylooking mole should be brought to the client's attention. • Askyourhairdresser,barberor shampooer to take a look at your scalp and tell you if you have any spots. If you do, have them checked out promptly by a dermatologist. • Examinethescalpsofyourpatients thoroughly. Using a blow dryer during a total-body examination can help. • Don'tworryaboutoffendingyour clients, but try not to alarm them, either!Simplypointoutthesuspiciouslooking spot, then suggest they have a dermatologist look at it. • Wearahatinthesuntoprotect the scalp from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. • Startpracticingwhatyoupreach:have a colleague examine your scalp today. I almost fainted right there in the chair. The lesion had most of the classic ABCDE warning signs of melanoma. shares an office with me, and told patients — including the scalp — but him, "Please meet me at the offce right how foolish I had been in failing to away. I need to have this spot excised check my own scalp. The truth, of course, is that when I immediately. What if it's a melanoma?" I shuddered to think it, because scalp (like you) examine myself, I can't see melanomas are the most lethal of my own scalp, unless I use a mirror and a blow dryer. But I had never all melanomas. asked anyone to look for me, like I I was terrifed. It dawned on me how utterly ironic should have. The next three days were the lonit was. I'm a dermatologist, and Senior Vice President of The Skin Cancer gest of my life. The waiting game was Foundation, someone who regularly unbearable as I anxiously anticipated touts the need for monthly head-to-toe the results of the biopsy. Finally — a skin self-examination. In fact, I once call from the lab. The verdict ... "It's wrote the article, "The Hows and Whys benign!" The two best words you ever of a Total-Body Exam." I'm a Mohs want to hear. It was a blue nevus, a surgeon, specializing in skin cancer, totally benign pigmented lesion that operating on over 1,000 patients per mimics the appearance of melanoma year. And yet, I'd had no idea there in every way. Overjoyed, I purchased gift cerwas a potential melanoma atop my head. How could I have neglected tifcates for the staff at the hair salon myself? I always perform the most and headed straight to the salon to meticulous total-body exams on my give thanks and praise for what they had done. Then and there, I vowed to share my experience and good fortune, and to spread the word about scalp melanoma and the important role hair stylists can play. SCALP MELANOMAS: THE DEADLIEST OF ALL MELANOMAS Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is derived from melanocytes, the skin's pigment cells, and can spread quickly (metastasize) through the lymph nodes or bloodstream if not detected at an early stage. Scalp melanomas are more lethal than other melanomas. One nationwide study found that people with scalp and neck melanomas die from the disease at nearly twice the rate of people with melanomas elsewhere on the body.1 In fact, although only six percent of patients have skin lesions on the scalp 45

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