Hairdressers can help in cancer detection, says surgeon
A trip to your local hairdresser could help save your life, according to a Woy Woy surgeon.
The surgeon recently removed a skin cancer from a woman head, which was identified by her hairdresser.
Brisbane Waters Private Hospital surgeon Dr Mary Ling said it was the vigilance of Ms Roslyn Raison's hairdressers that led to the removal of a basal cell carcinoma from her scalp.
"Roslyn had gone in for her regular cut, colour and coif, but got more than she bargained for when her hairdresser discovered a worrying spot on her scalp," Dr Ling said.
"I didn't feel or see anything because I have very thick hair and always wear hats," said Ms Raison of Macmasters Beach.
"I was very grateful because I don't think I would have noticed myself," she added.
Dr Ling said the Central Coast was one of the worst regions for skin cancers in the state, with hairdressers uniquely positioned to detect them.
"The Central Coast is one of the top five skin cancer hotspots in NSW.
"Although skin cancer on the scalp is less common, it can be harder to treat as patients present at a more advanced stage because they don't notice anything different," Dr Ling said.
Dr Ling said skin cancer was generally on the rise, with ozone depletion and climate change contributing to the increase, along with poor skincare habits.
"The World Health Organisation is predicting a 10 per cent increase in skin cancers by 2050 and, in Australia, the age standardised rate of melanoma has increased from 27 per 100,000 to 49 per 100,000 in 2016.
"On the upside, more than 90 per cent of skin cancers can be prevented and, when melanoma is diagnosed early, it is highly treatable," Dr Ling said.
Media release, 22 Jan 2020
Jane Worthington, Digimedia Australia