ONS Chapter Addresses Prevention, Early Detection of Melanoma Through “Hairstylist Melanoma Challenge”

Source: Oncology Nurse Advisor, May 2019

ANAHEIM, CA — Learning of a published research report prompted nurses at a Florida cancer center to take on “The Hairstylist Melanoma Challenge,” a joint project with Eyes on Cancer, whose motto is Trained eyes save lives, to educate hairstylists to recognize suspicious lesions on their clients and suggest a visit to a physician or dermatologist. The initiative was described in a poster presentation at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 44th Annual Congress.

Although recent improvements in metastatic melanoma treatment are encouraging, prevention and detection at an early stage remain the ideal strategy for this potentially deadly skin cancer. In December 2017, JAMA Dermatology published a research report by Neda R. Black, MD, and colleagues, in which the authors discussed a project that involved educating hairdressers about the “ABCDEs” of melanoma of the scalp, head, and neck.

“This made so much sense. Who knows your head better than your hairdresser?” stated Sandy Allten, RN, OCN®, CCRP, of AdventHealth Cancer Institute in Daytona Beach, Florida, during the presentation at Congress. Ms Allten and fellow East Central Florida ONS chapter members contacted Eyes on Cancer, an established non-profit whose mission is to educate hair and beauty professionals (hairstylists, for both men and women, in particular) about skin cancer detection.

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