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Some hair professionals report looking for skin cancer lesions on customers' scalp, neck and face
Date:10/17/2011

CHICAGO - In a survey of hair professionals, some reported that they look at customers' face, scalp and neck for suspicious skin lesions, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Melanoma of the scalp and neck represented 6 percent of all melanomas and accounted for 10 percent of all melanoma deaths in the United States from 1973 to 2003, with a five-year survival probability of 83.1 percent for stage I melanoma of the scalp and neck compared with 92.1 percent for stage I melanoma of other sites," the authors write as background information in the article.

Elizabeth E. Bailey, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues conducted a survey of 304 hair professionals from 17 salons in a single chain in the greater Houston area. Of 304 professionals surveyed in January 2010, 203 completed the questionnaire (66.8 percent response rate), which included questions on the frequency with which they observed their customers' scalp, neck and face for abnormal moles during the previous month.

Of the 203 respondents, 69 percent reported being "somewhat" or "very likely" to give customers a skin cancer information pamphlet during an appointment; 49 percent reported they were "very" or "extremely" interested in participating in a skin cancer education program; and 25 percent share general health information with customers "often" or "always." Most respondents (71.9 percent) also reported they had not received a course on skin cancer but a modest number were educating their customers and observing for suspicious lesions.

When answering questions about observing suspicious skin lesions during the previous month, 73 participants (37.1 percent) reported looking at more than 50 percent of their customers' scalps; 56 (28.8 percent) reported looking at more than 50 percent of their customers' necks; and 30 (15.3 percent) re
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Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-8413
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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