Melanoma

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and with summer right around the corner, it’s important to remember that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

Melanoma is the third most common form of skin cancer. While it is often described as the most deadly type, in 90-95% of cases, it is found early, treated quickly and cured. 

“We are starting to cure melanoma, and it’s very exciting. We’re doing great things and hopefully people won’t have to die from this diagnosis anymore.”

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. There are three main types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Of these, melanoma is the most dangerous.

Yes, you definitely do. While the cold winter months may not immediately bring to mind warmth and sunshine, ultraviolet (UV) rays still pose a risk and you need to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors, just like in the summer.

Because melanoma causes most skin cancer deaths in America — and the number continues to rise every year — you should understand what puts you at risk for the disease, how to lower your risk, and how to spot melanoma in its early stages, when it’s easier to treat.

A combination of two immunotherapy drugs shows promise in treating patients with skin cancer that has spread to the brain, according to a study published this week the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the age of digital information it can be hard to find trustworthy sources. For any given topic there's a countless number of blogs, articles or videos clamoring for your attention with flashy headlines.

I’m not a tanning guy, but my day-to-day job is all outside. Leading up to my diagnosis, I never wore sunscreen. The biggest thing I learned throughout all of this is to not wait.

A new clinical trial open at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is currently investigating whether beta blockers, which calm the body’s response to stress, can boost immunotherapy in patients with advanced melanoma.

Newer targeted treatments like immunotherapy have emerged in recent years and appear to be not only more effective than conventional therapy but also better tolerated, because unlike chemotherapy and radiation, these newer approaches are designed to kill cancer cells without damaging healthy ones.

“Initially, ovarian cancer, melanoma, and some sarcomas are the three main targets,” says Dr. Koya, “but the clinical trial is open for patients with other cancers who meet the eligibility requirements."