Tattoo Artists Are Being Trained to Recognise Skin Cancer!

A pioneering training scheme in Bristol is now educating tattoo artists to recognise moles and growths on their clients’ skin that could be potential melanomas.

The team at Southmead Hospital have previously seen patients who were referred after hairdressers, barbers and podiatrists spotted marks on their skin and advised they see their GPs about them.

Inspired by a study in Brazil where tattoo artists were targeted as part of an awareness campaign, Macmillan Skin Cancer Specialist Nurse, Jaye Kissane who was involved in organising the training event, 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.”

Melanoma is the most common skin cancer in young adults and can be deadly if it is not recognised and treated early. It is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, and the most prevalent skin cancer in people under 50. There are around 13,000 cases diagnosed each year and it claims 2,000 lives a year.

Monumental Ink has contacted the Dermatology department of Colchester and Chelmsford Hospitals to enquire about the possibility of training local tattoo artists. 

As it stands now our artists haven’t received any formal training, but have taken it upon themselves to learn all they can to help spot the visible signs, as Mike has proven, it’s working.

Check out the cancer research website!

How to Spot a Dodgy Mole

Your moles will change naturally, but what’s important is noticing when a change is more sinister. First, get familiar with how your skin looks today then look out for any changes – if a mole gets bigger or starts to itch, bleed or crust, it’s time to go to the doctor.

The “ABCD” rule can help staying on top of changes:

Asymmetry: The two halves of the mole do not look the same

Border: The edges of the mole are irregular, blurred or jagged

Colour: The colour of the mole is uneven, with more than one shade

Diameter: The mole is wider than 6 mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser).

Of course the golden rule should ALWAYS be: “If in doubt, get it checked out!” 

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