Skin Cancer Education among Massage Therapists: A Survey at the 2010 Meeting of the American Massage Therapy Association
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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.
KeywordsMassage therapist Body work professional Skin cancer education Skin cancer early detection Skin cancer prevention
Non-melanoma skin cancer
American Massage Therapy Association
Statistical analysis system
The authors of this manuscript would like to thank Boston University, Department of Dermatology, for their financial support of this study. Boston University Dermatology, Inc (BUD), Accounting Unit (A\U) #2003013.
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