A couple of years ago Principal Amy Prifti was working on a wedding providing hair and make-up for the bride and bridal party. A wedding guest who was there at the time asked Amy if there was anything she could do to cover up a ‘bump’ on her leg. Amy looked at this bump – It was slightly raised and discoloured but quite small. Amy said she was happy to cover it up using cosmetic camouflage for the wedding day but advised the guest to make an appointment with her doctor to get it checked out once home. A couple of weeks later, Amy received a phone call from that guest saying it was skin cancer. ‘It was shocking to hear this news. On one hand, it was good to hear it had been diagnosed, on the other hand I wasn’t sure what this meant’
Unfortunately, a year later, that same person died of skin cancer. It was distressing to find out and Amy wished there was something more that she could do at the time….. Step in MASCED
As you can see, Sussex Make-up Academy, Principal Amy Prifti is now accredited after completing the MASCED course. But what is MASCED? Acronym for Melanoma and Skin Cancer Early Detection, MASCED is a website offering a free online educational, accreditation programme for hair, health and beauty industry professionals. Developed by National Melanoma and Skin Cancer Charity, SKCIN, this accreditation programme helps to raise awareness about skin cancer and its early detection that can save lives. Hair, health and beauty professionals are not expected to diagnose skin cancer, but to be more attentive, to signal and advise clients to see a dermatologist or any other professional if they notice something unusual.
Once registered on the website, you can download the MASCED guide and complete your free online course. After completing the course and testing your knowledge and understanding of skin cancer and its detection, you will be able to download a fully accredited certificate and logo to use on your website. Check out MASCED website for more information: https://masced.uk/
It is essential to raise awareness about disease like skin cancer, because just by telling your clients to get their skin checked by a professional can help them, and even save a life. The earlier a skin disease is detected, examined and treated, the more chances it has of being completely cured.
In order to get a better understanding of this disease and the reality of living with it, Amy had the chance to interview Jess Hancock, a former skin cancer patient – Above is a photo of her mole when it was discovered.
At what age was you diagnosed with skin cancer?
I was diagnosed aged 16.
What symptoms did you have? How or what did you notice a difference to?
I hadn’t actually noticed anything myself. I had severe eczema across my whole body, my parents took me to a private dermatologist as it wasn’t getting better.
He examined me for eczema, however quickly stopped the examination and told me I needed an immediate excision of the mole on my arm. He is a skin cancer expert. A week later I had the news it was skin cancer, I had to return for a further operation to remove more tissue (they had to remove a certain amount more than the cancerous part).
Can you please let us know about your experience?
I was incredibly lucky, and still see the same dermatologist 12 years later. He is an incredible person who always has my best interests at heart.
Great to hear that you are in the clear now – How often do you need check up?
I tend to see my dermatologist at least once a year, however also as/when I have concerns, as being able to self assess is half the battle. I have had a further 4 excisions for pathology testing since my cancer but relieved they came back clear.
Has this experience changed the way you do things/make you more cautious in the sun?
I am definitely more wary in the sun, and try my best to educate friends on the dangers of the sun as wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it.
This testimony helps us to realise how important it is to protect our skin as well as keeping a eye on any change or abnormal modification of our skin condition.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
How can free, accredited courses like this exist when they cost money to run?
Please help by donating what you can to keep this amazing scheme going. Details on how to are on the SKcin Website. It is amazing that 3000 have already signed up, yet it costs £1.50 to send every pack out. Your donation, no matter how small can make a huge difference.
*Please note – All information correct at the time this blog post was written.