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Caci Clinic partners with Skin Cancer College fight skin cancer on front line

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When a member of Caci Clinic’s own head office team had a cancerous melanoma removed, it prompted the company to look at its role in helping the fight against skin cancer.

This Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a new partnership between Caci Clinic and the Skin Cancer College of Australasia (SCCA) will upskill more than 700 therapists and registered nurses at its 80 clinics nationwide to better recognise suspicious legions and make potentially lifesaving referrals to recognised GPs.

The course has been developed by skin cancer doctors after realising many patients are presenting to skin cancer GPs after an irregular mark on their skin was noticed by non-medical professionals.

Skin Cancer College Australasia CEO Lynette Hunt says the important role that professionals that are regularly in close contact with skin play is consistent and significant.

“We often hear stories from our member doctors of people turning up to their skin cancer GP after their beauty therapist, hairdresser, massage therapist or physiotherapist noticed something different about their skin,’’ Hunt says.

“We developed this course to encourage people who see a lot of skin in their daily work to speak up and start a conversation with their clients about their skin health. We are not trying to teach non-medical people to diagnose skin cancer – that is a doctor’s role.  Our aim is to make it OK to speak up about skin.”

Caci Clinic’s strategy and customer lead Emily Stevenson has spearheaded the partnership.

“My own personal journey with skin cancer has been a driver, but we’re also consistently hearing from our clinics that they’re already making referrals when they spot something that looks a little ‘off’. We’re delighted to partner with the leading peak body representing primary care skin cancer practitioners to upskill our staff and play our part on the front line,” she says.

“The online course via SCCA takes our team through five easy modules introducing what skin cancer is, skin cancer risks and prevention, recognising suspicious lesions, and how they can help.”

Hamilton Skin Cancer Centre’s Dr Bert Rauber whose clinic has three full-time ex-GPs and a number of nurses working full time on identifying and removing skin cancers says the initiative makes absolute sense.

“The Caci team and others in similar industries with a lot of skin contact are in a prime position to identify potential skin lesions. Just getting people to take the next step and visit their skilled medical professional for a full body skin check can make a huge difference,’’ Dr Bert says. “Early detection of skin cancer is so important, and a skilled doctor perform a thorough skin check is quick, painless and potentially life-saving.”

  • Melanoma is the third most common cancer in men and women in New Zealand
  • 6,000 melanomas are diagnosed in New Zealand every year
  • Over 300 Kiwis die of melanoma every year
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