Hair stylist discovers malignant melanoma on customer’s scalp

When Eileen Korey made an appointment with her hairdresser Kari Phillips in Lakewood, Ohio, she only wanted to get her roots redone.

But as Kari started preparing her hair for coloring, she was suddenly startled by something. “Did you hit your head?” Kari asked her long-time customer. Eileen said he hadn’t. “I see something here and I don’t like what I see,” said Kari. She took a photo of Eileen’s scalp using her smartphone and showed it to her. It was at this point that Eileen began feeling uncomfortable.

A mole that was slightly smaller than a dime had formed on her scalp; it had varying colors and looked like a bruise. Eileen had her hair colored every three weeks at Kari’s salon — the mole hadn’t been there at her previous visit. Having worked as a health news reporter, she knew that this unpleasant discovery was cause for concern and immediately made an appointment with her doctor.

It was a smart decision as the doctors had some alarming news for Eileen: the mole was actually an early-stage malignant melanoma. Thankfully she is now receiving treatment and her chances of survival are at an encouraging 90%.

Skin cancer is a particularly malicious disease that can often lead to death. If it’s discovered early enough, the chances of making a full recovery are usually very good, as in Eileen’s case. When you check your skin for any suspicious moles, make sure you don’t forget your scalp. And always make sure to keep your head covered when you’re out in the sun.

Eileen is incredibly grateful to Kari for making the discovery and told her, “Thank God you found this! You really did save my life.”

What a stroke of luck. It’s a good thing that Kari has a particularly attentive eye and alerted Eileen right away. We hope Eileen makes a full recovery!

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