Editorial – 04 Dec 2019

I’ve just read a very interesting news item, stating that beauticians are becoming the UK’s new front line against skin cancer here (ITV News – 02.12.2019).

Some may think it’s a bit strange; granted, beauticians are not doctors or nurses, but I think it makes absolutely perfect sense. Let’s face it, who else looks at your skin as closely as you do?

The perfect thing is that hair, health and beauty industry professionals can now sign up for a National Accreditation Programme by Skcin, the Karen Clifford Cancer Charity, to promote the prevention and early detection of skin cancer, in order to save lives. We all have a responsibility for our health, but melanomas can be missed, particularly if they are inaccessible or just not noticeable at first glance, if something has indiscernibly changed.

It would be great if barbers could be encouraged to sign up as well. Men are less likely to check themselves than women and less likely to go to their GP if they spot something; this should not be an initiative that is confined to salons.

Of course, employers, particularly those with employees who work outside, can also help promote the importance of early detection and sun safety, but ultimately the responsibility lies with each and every one of us.

Cancer Research UK have found that incidence rates for skin cancer are predicted to rise by 7% between 2014 and 2035. This shows how important it is that we are vigilant, not just for ourselves, but for our loved ones too.

I do feel like I’m saying this at the wrong time of year, but skin cancer doesn’t just manifest in summer.

Be aware, be vigilant, and don’t be afraid to see your doctor with any changes.

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