MASCED helps identify skin cancer concerns

Beauty and hair professionals are being encouraged to spot the early signs of skin cancer on their clients by undertaking the MASCED (Melanoma and Skin Cancer Early Detection) educational programme.

Run by the skin cancer awareness charity, Skcin, MASCED is an online learning resource designed specifically for those working in the beauty and wellness sectors. It includes printed educational resources as well as an online e-course. 

“Skin cancer is the UK's most common and fastest rising cancer. Malignant melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults (aged 15-34) in the UK. Over 2,500 people die each year from this disease and this figure is increasing,” explains Claire Dale, Campaign Manager at Skcin. “More people die from skin cancer in the UK than Australia. Over 80% of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun and/or sunbeds, making the majority of all skin cancers preventable.”

She continues:

“Beauty, hair and health professionals are ideally placed to spot changes to the skin as they see their clients up close regularly and, with the right training, are able to notice suspicious marks and offer the right advice.”

As therapists are not trained medical professionals, some may be concerned about responsibility of identifying changes in the skin falling upon them, however the MASCED programme is not designed to replace the requirement of professional medical diagnosis. “Participants are not expected or required to diagnose skin cancer and should always advise clients seek professional advice from their GP and/or Dermatologist,” explains Claire.

The MASCED programme has already delivered positive results, empowering beauty and hair professionals to identify skin changes which have assisted in early skin cancer diagnosis. As reported in The Telegraph, MASCED accredited holistic beauty therapist Lucy Dempster spotted a mole on client Sarah Burrows' chest and urged her to have it checked out by her GP. The mark was diagnosed as Basal Cell Carcinoma. During medical examination a second mark was identified, which went on to be diagnosed as a malignant Melanoma. Early identification meant that Sarah underwent treatment and was given the all clear. The Telegraph reports that Lucy Dempster has gone on to highlight possible skin issues in four further clients, who have received treatment for suspected tumours. 

The MASCED accredited programme covers the risks of exposure to UV radiation, sun safe strategies that can help prevent skin cancer, how to identify suspicious lesions focussing on Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma, and how to give the right advice and communicate concerns to clients.