The Lung Cancer Foundation of America is producing a pilot program to help educate hairdressers about simple questions they can ask their clients

Lung cancer is a leading cause of death for Black men and women, and research shows that hairdressers are some of the most trusted people in the African American community. The Lung Cancer Foundation of America is producing an easy-to-follow training video for hairdressers so they help relay critical information about lung cancer to the black community.

Hairdressers often ask: “How are the kids?”, or, How’s your hair?” But through a targeted training program with the LCFA, if a client is diagnosed with lung cancer, hairdressers could soon be asking: “What’s your biomarker?”

Sydney Barned knows the importance of knowing her biomarker. She is a doctor of internal medicine at the oncology unit at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland. Dr. Barned is also living with lung cancer. When she was originally diagnosed, she was slated to undergo chemotherapy and surgery to remove a portion of her lung. But then she learned about biomarker testing. “I, personally, didn’t know my biomarker for almost a year and I’m a doctor! Understanding my biomarker significantly changed my treatment plan from chemotherapy and radiation to taking pills to fight my cancer,” said Dr. Barned.

Asking: “What is my Biomarker?” is an important question, because each cancer tumor is unique and some have specific traits called biomarkers. If you can identify what type of cancer you have, there may be treatments that target that specific biomarker. This is called targeted therapy. In many cases, these treatments mean taking pills instead of chemotherapy and radiation. Asking for biomarker testing is extremely important in treating your cancer and improving your quality of life.

You are invited to watch the videotaping of the pilot program with Dr. Sydney Barned and her stylist, Tanya Taylor at TR Brown Salon in Annapolis, Maryland on Wednesday, October 26 at Noon. Please contact Mitch Jelniker with M&C Communications.