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Lifesaving hair appointment finds melanoma

Former WKYC Health Reporter Eileen Korey has one more story she wants to tell.  The one about how her colorist saved her life by finding deadly melanoma on her scalp. 

You may remember Eileen Korey who brought you health news on WKYC Channel 3 through the 80s and early 90s. Her red locks were legendary. It's why she never misses a monthly appointment with her colorist, Kari Phillips.

Phillips has colored Korey's hair for fifteen years, so when she noticed something odd on her scalp she spoke up and told her client to make an appointment with her dermatologist.

Phillips' sister is a dermatological nurse and always stressed to Kari to be on the lookout for odd moles and markings on her hair clients.

Eileen made an appointment with MetroHealth dermatologist Pam Davis, who agreed a biopsy was needed. The results came back positive for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

But for Korey, it was good news. They caught it so early the cancer did not infiltrate below her scalp so while she need surgery to remove it, she won't have to face chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

However, hats are now part of her wardrobe because she's now at higher risk.

Korey wanted to tell her story to encourage hair stylists and their clients to understand they are the first line of defense in finding skin cancer on the scalp.

Dr. Davis agrees and often educates stylists and aestheticians about what to look for. She often reminds patients to ask their stylist to check their scalp when the hair is wet because unusual moles are easier to find.

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