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  1. ITV Report

How beauticians are becoming the UK's new front line defence against skin cancer

  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Natalia Jorquera

Beauticians are being trained to spot signs of skin cancer, as rates of melanoma have soared by 128 per cent in the last two decades - making it the fifth most common cancer in the UK.

Used to seeing clients up close, more than 250,000 people working in the beauty industry are being encouraged to train themselves in the signs of the disease.

Cancer charity Skcin has created an online training course to educate beauty professionals in the signs of the disease.

The organisation says it gets reports "every week" of skin cancer melanomas from its "army of skin checkers".

Charity Skcin is training beauticians to know the signs of skin cancer. Credit: ITV News

Whilst they're not doctors or nurses, they provide a front line defence in fight against the disease.

Anne from Dublin credits her beautician with saving her life after an abnormality was spotted during a routine appointment.

She told ITV News: "During the course of a pedicure, Andrea spotted a mole, which she thought had different colours running through it.

Anne credits her life as being saved after a routine pedicure. Credit: ITV News

"I went to a dermatologist, who said it need to be exorcised from my foot. It was pre-melanoma and the cells were definitely A-typical.

"Basically if I hadn't had that done, it would have turned into melanoma."

"Yes, it saved my life really," she said.