Tattoo artists in the West Country have been taking part in a new skin cancer scheme.
The North Bristol Trust is encouraging tattooists to get educated in what are and how to identify possible signs of skin cancer.
In Britain, 13’000 new cases of melanoma are discovered each year and the majority of those people would have no knowledge in how to identify what they need to be worried about. Due to this, North Bristol Trust is holding training for local tattoo artists to help them spot moles or growths on clients that could be potential melanomas. Melanoma is the most common skin cancer in young adults and can be deadly if it is not recognised and treated early on.
The first of, potentially more training events, took place in the evening of the 12th of April at Southmead Hospital. Around 300 patients are diagnosed with skin cancer in Bristol’s Southmead Hospital each year alone and the evening included presentations showing the attendants what to look for and how to identify if what they are looking at is a possible melanoma. The event came about after information about a study in Brazil, where tattoo artists were targeted as part of an awareness campaign, came to light. Skin care experts at the hospital say they already treat people who visited their GPs after unusual marks were spotted by hairdressers and podiatrists. In result, medics felt it would be worthwhile playing host to an educational evening. MacMillan Skin Cancer Specialist Nurse said:
“Tattoo artists are looking at people’s skin all day and may well spot if there is something that does not look quite right. We hope that if we educate some of the tattoo artists locally they may be able to potentially save the lives of their customers by advising them to get checked out. We are looking forward to meeting some tattoo artists for an interesting and informative evening.”
Ben Boston has been in the art of tattooing people for twenty years and has his own tattoo parlour, The Tattoo Studio, in Bristol. While he was working with a customer he noticed a mole on her back, the mole had changed shape from when he’d last seen it. Boston saved her life by using a keen eye and knowing what to look for. This highlights the usefulness of schemes like these. Medical professionals want to encourage other industries like; masseurs, beauticians and hairdressers, to take part in this learning curve.
Aesthetic industries being aware of this issue and being in the know of what to do could drastically reduce the amount of undiagnosed cases in the UK.
Would you want your salon to be trained in detecting this?
You can watch Ben’s interview with BBC here