The important role hairdressers play in our battle against skin cancer was highlighted recently by revelations from Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath who shared that her hairdresser possibly saved her life when she spotted an irregularity on her scalp that turned out to be a serious melanoma.

With National statistics now confirming that melanoma is the 3rd most commonly diagnosed invasive cancer in Australia and that the incidence of melanoma has more than doubled over the past 40 years, [1] the Skin Cancer College of Australasia has launched a free skin cancer course especially designed for non-clinical professionals who work with skin.

Over the years, our clinic has seen a number of people on the suggestion of a non-clinical professional working with skin, such as a hairdressers, massage therapist or beauticians. These professionals are in an amazing position to help us detect skin cancer earlier, especially for their clients who are not getting skin checks regularly, so we are keen to spread the word about the newly available free training course.

Dr Helena Rosengren, Medical Director of Skin Repair Skin Cancer Clinic talked with Michael Clarke on ABC North Queensland during National Skin Cancer Action week in November, acknowledging our local ‘unsung heroes’ who help with our battle against skin cancer.

The short interactive course, which was designed for non-medical professionals who work with skin and hair, but is available to anyone, helps the participant recognise potential skin cancer and feel confident in chatting to their client, friend, or family member about going to see a GP or qualified skin cancer GP specialist about any suspicious spot.

The new online skin cancer course, which takes only an hour to complete includes 5 easy modules on what skin cancer is, skin cancer risks and prevention, how to recognise suspicious spots, skin cancer checks and treatments and how we can all help reduce the burden of skin cancer with simple conversations.

Anyone interested in completing the course, which is available free of charge until January 31, can register via and use the discount code USC25.

Listen to the full ABC radio interview with Dr Helena Rosengren now:

[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). (2022). Cancer data in Australia. Retrieved 24 Aug 2022 from