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Health and beauty industry to be trained to spot signs of skin cancer

Health and beauty industry to be trained to spot signs of skin cancer

Monday 08 October 2018

Health and beauty industry to be trained to spot signs of skin cancer

Monday 08 October 2018

Hairdressers, beauticians, tattoo artists and physiotherapists are all set to have their eyes trained in spotting melanoma and other skin cancers.

Delivered by the Donna Annand Melanoma Charity, which was created in memory of Donna after she passed away in 2011 from a malignant melanoma, the training aims to ensure that problems are flagged up early.

Donna wanted people to be aware of the dangers of melanoma and that early detection of the disease is key and her family and friends have been campaigning since to fulfill her wish. They frequently organise pop-up mole clinics where islanders can have their moles checked up. They also deliver training to GPs so that they can spot any suspicious lesion that may require referral to a dermatologist.

Video: The signs, symptoms and ways to prevent melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - as told by Alan the mole.

But now that training has been broadened beyond the medical community.

On the suggestion of the Orchard Chiropractic Centre, they're now looking to sharpen the eyes of other practitioners working with skin.

“They raised money for us and we asked them what they would like us to spend the money on. They said that it would be helpful if we could offer some training on the signs of melanoma so that they would know what to look for," charity Chair Kerry Petulla explained.

“They also said to open the training to hairdressers, tattoo artists, physiotherapists, all different professions where people are quite close to their patients. We thought it fit in perfectly with what we do as we want to raise awareness. Early detection is key and the earlier people are checked out the better chances their chances are.”

90 health professionals and beauty industry practitioners joined the training last year. Ms Petulla says the feedback has been very positive, prompting the charity to organise another session on 11 November at the Horizon Hotel. While the training aims to give participants some tools to spot any abnormalities, Ms Petulla says they shouldn’t feel responsible for a diagnosis.


Pictured: The free training will be delivered at the Horizon Hotel.

“It’s just about informing them so that they can tell their patients, ‘This does not look right’,” Ms Petulla said.

“We discuss how to bring the subject up so as not to alarm the person. We encourage them to say, ‘This looks odd, you should get this checked out.’ It’s not a diagnosis, which we leave to the proper practitioners, it’s about knowing what a normal mole is supposed to look like and saying it when you see one that is not normal.”

The informal training is open to all health and beauty experts and is delivered by Sister Di Rolland, a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Jersey Hospital with 25 years’ experience in dermatology and a special interest in skin cancer.

She is both on the committee of the British Dermatology Nursing Group (BDNG) and chair of the BDNG skin surgery sub-group.

During the training, she explains what melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is and explains how it differs from other forms of skin cancer. She also encourages the audience to discuss different cases and whether they would point anything out to the patient and gives them her own analysis.

Ms Petulla added: “People have told us they feel much more confident in saying something after the training. We just want them not to shy away from saying if they spot something unusual. It’s all part of the awareness we are trying to raise."

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