The hairstylist noticed something new and unusual on her regular client's scalp and immediately suggested that she visit a dermatologist.
When Mary Rahilly made a quick visit to her hairstylist, Sharon Lupo, for a cut and color, she was expecting to start the day with a new look. But little did Rahilly know that she was about to have a new shot at life.
Lupo, who she visits regularly, noticed something new and unusual on her scalp, and immediately suggested that she visit a dermatologist. "It was almost a discolored spot. I knew I had to tell her," Lupo told Good Morning America.
Taking Lupo's advice into consideration, Rahilly made a rush appointment. Her doctor could almost immediately tell it was a form of cancer and proceeded to run a biopsy, which confirmed it.
The scalp is a common place for skin cancer, Dr. Ramona Beshad, assistant professor of dermatology at St. Louis University, noted. "It's a place where skin cancers tend to be diagnosed late because oftentimes they're covered by hair and not easy to see," she said.
In Rahilly's case, had it not been for Lupo, the cancer wouldn't have even been diagnosed until it was probably too late. Luckily, Rahilly got the squamous cell on her scalp removed before it spread.
Hairstylist spots skin cancer on client: What dermatologists want you to know https://t.co/P13AtlXZjt Images(NEW YORK) -- While many people know a trip to the hairdresser can save you from a bad hair day, it could also save your life.— KTBB Radio (@KTBBRadio) March 18, 2022
That was the case for an Illinois-based w...
"She knows I'm grateful and that, you know, she's an awesome person. She is," Rahilly said. Lupo chimed in, sharing that Rahilly called her a hero.
The thing is, not everyone is as fortunate as Rahilly. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, with one in five Americans developing it by the age of 70, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Meanwhile, Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist, shared some of her tips and best practices for spotting skin cancer. "I highly recommend doing a self-exam every month and looking at your skin closely from head to toe," she said.
Bowe also recommends recruiting a friend or loved one to look at places you can't see, such as behind your ears, your back, and the back of your neck as well as the legs.
When it comes to the summer months, skin cancer prevention is key, according to Bowe. She suggests using broad-spectrum sunscreen and re-applying every two hours to dry skin or more often if you are wet, swimming, or sweating.
"But sunscreen is not enough," she added. "Also wear sun protective fabric, a broad-rimmed hat, sunglasses, and seek shade especially when the sun is at its peak."
Cover Image Source: Photo by cottonbro from Pexels