Shelley Gehrke (front), owner of Peak A Do found a melanoma during a routine haircut.
Shelley Gehrke (front), owner of Peak A Do found a melanoma during a routine haircut. David Nielsen

How this hairdresser saved her client’s life

AN IPSWICH hair dresser has saved a regular clients life after she spotted something unusual during an appointment.

Peak-A-Do Hair and Beauty Salon owner Shelley Gehrke took to social media to raise awareness about the need to check for skin cancers.

 

"(This) client has been coming to me religiously every six weeks for a hair cut for the last 13 years, so I know her head like the back of my hand," Ms Gehrke said.

"Between six week visits (cancer) paid her a visit. She never had a freckle in her hair, never a mark on her head."

It was during the client's most recent visit that her hairdresser noticed something unusual.

A local hairdresser noticed a melanoma on her client's head during an appointment.
A local hairdresser noticed a melanoma on her client's head during an appointment.

"I found this which looked like grease and when I noticed it was not moving with soap, I recommended her go to the GP," Ms Gehrke said.

"Within a week the diagnosis (was) melanoma (and) specialists and surgeons would now save her life."

The hairdresser said if her client would have noticed weeks later, her story may not have had such a fortunate ending.

"She is so grateful as are her family," she said.

"Please check your hair. It truly is important (and) it really is only 10 minutes out of your day to have your skin checked.

"We see many gents that we send off for skin checks but this is one of the most rapid diagnosis (we have seen) for a while."

Melanoma facts:

  • Melanoma accounted for 10% of all Australia's cancers in 2011
  • It is the third most common cancer in Australian women, after breast and bowel cancer
  • More than 13,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma in Australia each year
  • Melanoma represents 2% of all skin cancers, but causes 75% of skin cancer deaths.
  • The good news is that if melanoma is identified at an early stage, simple treatment can result in a complete cure.


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