"I Thought I Knew Myself, but I Missed It."
Jim can’t say enough about his dermatologist who was able to detect his melanoma early enough so that more invasive treatment wasn’t necessary. “I see myself every day. I thought I knew myself, but I missed it. I see her twice a year, and those visits are quick, but she didn’t miss it. She was all over it.” The vigilance of his dermatologist may have saved Jim’s life.
Ten Years of Powerful Research and Results
In 2007, when Debra Black was diagnosed with Stage II melanoma, there were few treatment options. In fact, for those diagnosed with late-stage melanoma, only two FDA-Approved treatment options existed, and they only provided a 16% chance at five-year survival. After dealing with her own health concerns, she and her husband knew that they could-and needed- to do more. That’s why later that year they worked with Mike Milken to found MRA and transform the melanoma landscape.
Safe and Sound: Balancing Safety with Innovation in American Sunscreens
Currently, Americans have access to 16 sunscreen active ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent skin cancer. The last time a new OTC (Over the Counter) sunscreen ingredient was added to the FDA sunscreen monograph was 1999. Meanwhile, Europeans have access to 29 sunscreen active ingredients. In the United States there are currently eight new sunscreen ingredients that are pending FDA review, which have been used in Europe – many for over ten years. These new, and potentially better, active ingredients could allow sunscreens to last longer and provide better full spectrum coverage that could help us reverse trends of increasing melanoma incidence in this country. Unlike in Europe where sunscreens are classified as cosmetics, in the United States the FDA is required to evaluate all active ingredients in sunscreens as OTC drugs. Meaning, that all U.S. sunscreen ingredients must be found generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) in the same manner as other OTC medications. The FDA says that this is critical to keeping us safe, but is it possible to balance innovation and safety?
Measuring Progress: Skin Cancer Prevention in the United States
On July 29 2014, Dr. Boris Lushniak, the then acting U.S. Surgeon General at, issued a landmark call to action when he declared skin cancer as a major public health problem. He called on everyone, from government agencies to community-based organizations to schools to come together to increase awareness of skin cancer and ways to reduce risk. Since the Call to Action, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an annual report each year documenting progress, celebrating success, and identifying areas where improvement is needed. The key areas of the Call to Action and the update from the CDC 2017 Progress Report are highlighted below.
Sunscreen Laws may Hinder Protecting Children from Exposure
With the launch of summer comes conventional discussion around ranking sunscreens, and chatter between the experts to parse what should be considered in choosing the most effective among them. It’s also a key conversation among parents heading into the season with an eye on protecting their children from sun exposure. Yet, something remaining a central concern among those parents is the public policy surrounding use of sunscreen in schools.
Non-invasive Detection Modalities and Metastatic Risk Stratification for Melanoma: Where Are We Now?
By Pooja H. Rambhia, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University | 10 July 2017 In Prevention, Science, Treatment
While dermatologists have advocated for patient education about irregular skin lesions in order to catch melanomas earlier, dermatologists ultimately play the largest role in the detection and excision of abnormal skin lesions via skin biopsy. However, visual recognition and assessment of pigmented skin lesions is limited to the eye of the dermatologist, and can be challenging for even the most experienced clinicians.
Invincible, Until You’re Not
Self described, lifetime sun worshiper and tanning bed devotee, 24-year old native Texan Ali Young was barely daunted the first time she was diagnosed with deadly skin cancer at the age of 18. Matter of fact, she recalls heading to the tanning bed the very day after her biopsy.
MRA and BJ’s Wholesale Club Partner to Launch May Campaign
In today’s dynamic research environment, working as a team is more valuable than ever. This May, in an effort to spotlight Melanoma Awareness month, BJ’s Wholesale Club, a warehouse club operating in 15 states and headquartered in Massachusetts, will launch its first awareness campaign in partnership with MRA to highlight the importance of prevention.
Taking Charge of the Skin You’re In: 3 Levels of Melanoma Prevention and Detection
By Pooja H. Rambhia, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University | 3 April 2017 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention, Treatment
No healthy person in their twenties expects they’re going to get a call one day telling them they have an invasive nodular melanoma. Despite seeing and hearing of horrible stories about young patients developing cancers, we can’t imagine it’ll happen to us. That element of surprise is exactly what 25-year-old medical student, Alissa Prior, experienced upon hearing her diagnosis.
Melanoma Prevention: The Latest Advances & Future Directions
During my interview with Susan Swetter, MD, Professor of Dermatology,
Stanford University and VA Palo Alto, at the Melanoma Research Alliance Ninth Annual Scientific Retreat in Washington, DC, I inquired about the Panel Discussion she was part of titled: News from the field: What’s going well and what remains to be done?
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