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Skin Cancer Detection in Hair Salons: Opportunity Knocking Comment on “Skin Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors in the Salon ”

Eliot N. Mostow, MD, MPH
Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(10):1166. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.282.
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While dermatologists are committed to skin cancer prevention and early detection, they do not have access to the public at large to examine the skin. Since 1985, the American Academy of Dermatology has endorsed public outreach by its members with annual free skin cancer screenings each May, which has resulted in screening 2.1 million people and identifying 206  500 suspicious lesions, including more than 23  500 suspected melanomas.1 Timely and frequent access to dermatologists continues to be an issue for many patients, which is partly a result of the number of dermatologists per 100  000 population and other socioeconomic factors.2 If there are opportunities to partner with nonmedical people who render personal service to the public to help with awareness of the need for skin cancer screening and dermatologists fail to do so, this may represent a practice gap. The article by Bailey et al3 highlights such potential partnerships to more broadly educate the public and detect skin cancers at an earlier stage.

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