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Cut, blow-dry and skin cancer

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Health care professionals are always trying to find new ways to improve patient care so that ultimately illness can be prevented. However, one of the latest initiatives may be verging on the ridiculous.

A BBC article* details a scheme taking place in the USA that trains hairdressers to spot skin cancer on their patients. Hairdressers would be give short courses on what skin cancer looks like and how to spot it. The reason this started is because there is currently no skin cancer screening currently available. Though it seems like a harmless idea, it could potentially be a disaster.

Firstly, why were hairdressers chosen to screen skin cancer? According to the article, a fifth of skin cancer can be found on the neck and head. Surely it would be more beneficial to train massage therapists to screen skin cancer as they have access to more skin!? Not to mention the upset that it could cause if a person was wrongly told by unqualified professionals that they 'may' have skin cancer and the lawsuits that could follow!  

It seems to me that this is the cost-cutting answer to no skin cancer screening clinics that has many flaws. Perhaps pharmacies could offer skin cancer screening? Either way, a trip to the hairdressers could become more scary than ending up with the wrong shade of highlights.

Article source:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17428680

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