Skin cancer experts educating tattooists to help save lives

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Skin cancer experts at North Bristol NHS Trust are encouraging local tattoo artists to use their skills to help save lives.

Specialist Skin Cancer Consultant Jonathon Pleat and Macmillan Skin Cancer Specialist Nurse, Jaye Kissane, have organised an event at Southmead Hospital on Tuesday, April 12 to educate tattoo artists about Melanoma Skin Cancer.

Melanoma is the most common skin cancer in young adults and can be deadly if it is not recognised and treated early.

Approximately 300 patients are diagnosed with Melanoma in North Bristol NHS Trust every year.

As tattoo artists spend time looking at people’s skin the team believes they may be able to spot moles or growths on their customers 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.

And having read about a study in Brazil where tattoo artists were targeted as part of an awareness campaign, Mr Pleat felt it would be worth holding an educational evening.

The event will include a presentation about melanoma and pictures and advice about what to look out for.

Jaye 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.”

Signs to look out for include moles that are asymmetrical, have uneven borders, are different shades and change over time.

The event is being held in the Lecture Theatre of the Learning & Research building at Southmead Hospital Bristol from 7pm until 8pm on Tuesday, April 12.

To register your interest email jaye.kissane@nbt.nhs.uk call 0117 4147454 or text 07740457105