By Devon Abelman. Photos: Getty.
No matter how much you stare at yourself in a mirror, there is one part of your body that can be hard to look at ?€¡± especially if you have a full head of hair. Have you guessed what it is yet? Your scalp. And were it not for one eagle-eyed colorist, a woman’s melanoma could have gone undetected.
Eileen Korey, a former on-air health reporter, returned to WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland, OH, to share a story of her own, reports PopSugar. In the ’90s, she was known for her red hair, and she still maintains it with monthly touch ups. During a recent visit to her colorist, Kari Phillips discovered a mole on Korey’s scalp and couldn’t ignore it. Phillips told the news stations that she thought, “It doesn’t look right. I don’t remember seeing it.” To be sure, Phillips let Korey know it was there and advised her to go to the dermatologist to get it looked at. “I knew she would take my advice,” she adds.
Because her colorist gets up close and personal with her scalp once a month and never spotted the mole before, Korey told WKYC Channel 3 she believe the mole appeared over a month’s time. Also, she is sure she wouldn’t have spotted it on her own. “I wouldn’t have felt it because it wasn’t raised,” she explained. “There was nothing to feel.” Soon after her hair appointment, Korey went to the dermatologist, who ordered a biopsy. Korey was later diagnosed with stage 0 melanoma (in situ). When she found out, she shared the news with Phillips first. “You bought me time. You gave me the gift of life,” she told her. Korey will undergo surgery to remove the melanoma soon. Because it was detected early, she won’t need chemotherapy or radiation. In the meantime, Korey is all about wearing hats when she’s outside and sharing her story. “I wanted other people to know number one, melanoma can be on the scalp, and number two, how your colorist can save your life.”
This story originally appeared on Allure.