Call for piercers and acupuncturists to attend cancer awareness sessions

Monday, 13 November 2017

Body piercers, acupuncturists and other people who spend their days in close contact with their clients’ skin are being encouraged to learn about the signs of cancer at a free information session.
The skin cancer team at Southmead Hospital want to educate people whose jobs involves scrutinising people’s skin so that they can spot potential warning signs.
The session on Monday, November 20th, will be the second time the North Bristol NHS Trust clinicians have held an awareness session, having invited tattooists to an initial event last year.
In what was believed to have been the first of its kind in the UK, the team followed the lead of colleagues in Brazil who realised that people who look at skin as part of their jobs could help their clients by advising them to see their GP if they notice a mole that is suspicious.

Body piercers and acupuncturists are being encouraged to attend a free skin cancer awareness session at Southmead Hospital
Now they want to roll the sessions out to a wider audience in the hope that more skin cancers could be picked up earlier, when they are more treatable.
Consultant Jonathon Pleat said: “We know that sometimes people have moles or skin change in places that they can’t easily see them themselves, such as on their back.  However, professionals who are looking at their skin to pierce, tattoo, or remove hair from it may well spot something in these areas.
“These sessions are about making body piercers, acupuncturists and other professionals aware of the signs of melanoma so that if they see something they aren’t happy about on their clients’ skin, they can suggest that they get it checked out by a trained medical professional.
“We aren’t asking people to diagnose melanomas themselves, just to be aware of what to look out for so that if they do see something that looks a little concerning, they can advise their clients.  Identifying an early melanoma skin cancer might save a life.”
The evening session is open to anyone whose work involves looking at the skin and is interested in being more educated about the signs of skin cancer.
Please register via skincancereducation@nbt.nhs.uk to attend.