I can't really say much about the article itself until I get to the University later this week, and can get behind the paywall, but the abstract certainly served its purpose--it alerted me that this is a potentially interesting and very useful article, and that I should go to the effort to get the entire article and read it.
Campbell SM, Louie-Gao Q, Hession ML, Bailey E, Geller AC, Cummins D. Skin Cancer Education among Massage Therapists: A Survey at the 2010 Meeting of the American Massage Therapy Association. J Cancer Educ. 2012 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22915212
Massage therapists encounter skin on a daily basis and have a unique opportunity to recognize potential skin cancers. The purpose of this study was to describe the skin cancer education provided to massage therapists and to assess their comfort regarding identification and communication of suspicious lesions. An observational retrospective survey study was conducted at the 2010 American Massage Therapy Association Meeting. Sixty percent reported receiving skin cancer education during and 25% reported receiving skin cancer education after training. Massage therapists who examine their own skin are more likely to be comfortable with recognizing a suspicious lesion and are more likely to examine their client's skin. Greater number of clients treated per year and greater frequency of client skin examinations were predictors of increased comfort level with recognizing a suspicious lesion. Massage therapists are more comfortable discussing than identifying a potential skin cancer. Massage therapists may be able to serve an important role in the early detection of skin cancer.
Once again, we have an invitation to up our game, to commit to the shared body of knowledge of the client-centered healthcare team, and to contribute in a specific way to that team and to the client's well-being.
What are some concrete steps we could take--individually, through our organizations, both ways, or some other way--that would demonstrate that we are serious about wanting massage to become a healthcare profession, and to take steps toward accepting that invitation?
Is this something that we really want to do? What are the risks and benefits of doing so?
Source: Left: Wikipedia, "Skin cancer" http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Basal_cell_carcinoma.jpg accessed 27 August 2012; Center: Wikipedia, "Skin cancer" http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/35/Squamous_Cell_Carcinoma1.jpg accessed 27 August 2012; Right: Wikipedia, "Skin cancer" http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Melanoma.jpg accessed 27 August 2012
The images above show the 3 classic types of skin cancer. Reading from left to right, what are the names of the skin cancers in the photographs?
Reading from left to right, do the types of cancer you see in the images get more common or less common in occurrence in the general larger population?
Reading from left to right, do the types of cancer you see in the images get more deadly or less deadly?
If you saw a skin lesion on a client during a session, and the lesion looked exactly like one of the types of cancer you see in the images, what words would you choose to talk to the client about what you saw?