As Memorial Day Weekend and the start of summer beach season fast approach, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) is making experts available to discuss the risks of developing skin cancer and what steps can be taken to prevent it. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million people across the United States are currently affected by skin cancer, including the most serious type, melanoma. This year alone, more than 68,700 new cases of melanoma are expected nationally, with 2,500 in New Jersey. The Garden State ranks sixth in the nation for number of new melanoma cases. Precautions such as avoiding sun exposure during midday hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and avoiding tanning beds and sun lamps all contribute to the prevention of skin cancer.
Early detection of melanoma can be found by following a simple ABCD assessment:
Asymmetry (one half of the mole does not match the other half)
Border irregularity (the edges of a mole are ragged, notched, or blurred)
Color (the pigmentation of a mole is not uniform, with variable colors of tan, brown, or black)
Diameter of a mole is greater than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser)
CINJ experts available for comment include:
James Goydos, MD, is the director of the Melanoma and Soft Tissue Oncology Program at CINJ and an associate professor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Goydos treats patients with melanoma and can discuss such personal risk factors as family history, mole prevalence, weakened immune system and other items related to the prevention and treatment of skin cancer. He is currently researching the use of the drug riluzole (commonly used in the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in the treatment of melanoma.
Janice Mehnert, MD, is a medical oncologist in CINJ’s Melanoma and Soft Tissue Oncology Program and an assistant professor of medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Mehnert treats patients with melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes or to other distant organs within the body. Her research focuses on the development of novel drugs for the treatment of all forms of cancer, with a special focus on tumors of the skin, bone and soft tissues.
Source: Cancer Institute of New Jersey
This is a great post and an important topic. Prevention is so important, and in fact, the Melanoma Research Foundation is reaching out to teens and young adults about tanning and its link to the deadliest type of skin cancer. Most people don’t realize that using tanning beds before age 35 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75% and occasionally using tanning beds can triple your chances. The research shows that there’s no such thing as a “safe” or “healthy” tan.
We invite all young people to “Take a Stand, Don’t Tan!” with us by signing our online pledge at www.melanoma.org/take-a-stand. You can also find really important information about the realities of tanning, read stories from young women who have a history of both tanning and melanoma, and watch our neat YouTube video about teens confronting big decisions.