Eileen Korey from Cleveland, Ohio went to the same hairdresser, Kari Phillips for the past 15 years. This past June when Eileen went for her hair dyeing session, Kari saw a strange dark growth on Eileen’s scalp. A red light lit up in her mind. Eileen relates: “Kari asked me if I got hit on my head in the past month and I told her I didn’t. I found her question puzzling but she then told me: “this spot on your scalp doesn’t look good and I think you should go straight to a doctor right now.”
Eileen was hesitant but Kari took out her cell phone and took a picture of the spot with it. She then called up her sister who was a nurse who worked at a dermatologist’s office and sent her the picture. The nurse agreed and made an appointment for Eileen already for that day.
The doctor sent her for a biopsy which found that indeed the spot was melanoma. “I saw the results that said I was sick with melanoma and I couldn’t believe it,” Eileen says. “To my great fortune it was only in its early stages and didn’t spread. Its early detection saved my life.”
The growth was removed in a simple procedure and Eileen is forever grateful to her hairdresser who saved her life. “I don’t know what I would have done if Kari didn’t have the courage to tell me something was wrong. Many professionals are afraid to lose their job or seem less professional if they say these things but in my case Kari simply saved me many chemotherapy treatments and unimaginable pain.”
The doctor who treated Eileen said that one of the main causes of melanoma is exposure to the sun. “I advise checking your scalp every few months to make sure there are no suspicious spots. It’s also good to check when your hair is wet, feeling your scalp with your hands and if you suspect anything go to a doctor to rule out any fears. Early detection can save your life.”
Eileen now wears hats to protect herself and that’s a good idea to copy.