Deb Gordon spotlighted Melanoma Awareness Month with guest Dr. Louise Perkins, Chief Science Officer at the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA). MRA was founded in 2007 and is the largest private funder of melanoma research.
Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. and worldwide, with nearly 80,000 Americans diagnosed so far this year, and one person dies every hour. However, Dr. Perkins provided the audience with the good news that if detected early, melanoma can be defeated, and discussed the signs and symptoms, ways it develops, and latest treatment methods available. Dr. Perkins also discussed ways to prevent melanoma and the efforts to change attitudes, thinking and behaviors regarding unprotected exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. Ms. Perkins urged the community to protect themselves by always using a sunblock with of SPF 30 or higher, and also stressed the need for parents to ensure that babies and small children are well protected, as many adults with skin cancer develop the cells early on in life.
The Melanoma Research Alliance is advocating for laws and policies that will protect communities from the availability of tanning beds, which is gaining popularity among young people, and is responsible for many skin cancers and melanomas. The FDA has released proposed regulations that would require tanning beds and sunlamps to display stronger warning labels including a recommendation that people under the age of 18 abstain from using these devices.
The Melanoma Research Alliance will hold its second annual Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma benefit on May 21, at Rockefeller Center. This benefit is hosted by MRA Board member, Jeff Rowbottom and Brendan Dillon, both of whom are melanoma survivors. The event is designed to generate awareness about melanoma and raise funds for the cause. 100% of all public donations to MRA go directly to support melanoma research.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from melanoma and other skin cancers, and the ABCDE’s of melanoma – what to look out for in moles and lesions, visit www.curemelanoma.org.
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