George D. Murray and his favorite stylist, Christina Daviaux
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George D. Murray and his favorite stylist, Christina Daviaux

While participating in a Saint Baldrick’s cut-a-thon fundraiser to support cancer treatment for kids, George D. Murray was receiving his close cut by his favorite stylist, Christina Daviaux, at his local Sport Clips in Springfield, MA, when she noticed something unusual.

“At that time, Christina mentioned that she saw something strange, a discoloration, on the back of my right ear and suggested I get it checked,” Murray explains. “I went to my dermatologist, who did a biopsy, and it came back positive for melanoma.” 

His dermatologist recommended surgery and on July 16, Murray had part of his ear removed and “nodes right down my neck to check for possible spreading. I just got the results this past Friday and thanks to Christina, I am clean and require no more than follow ups at this point.”

Melanoma affects 3.3 million people each year, according to the Skin Care Foundation. Beauty professionals may see as many as 120 cases of cases of skin cancer over the course of their careers.

“By detecting growths suspicious for skin cancer and making appropriate referrals to dermatologists early, hair professionals can help to prevent the progression of dangerous skin cancers,” says Dr. Ramona Behshad, who leads education sessions to help stylists identify warning signs of common scalp skin cancers.

Jeanne Braa Foster, vice president of Eyes on Cancer and a renowned stylist/educator, says “As beauty professionals, we can save a life by addressing potential skin cancer early in areas only we see on a regular basis.”