Melanoma

I had the day off from work and was busy putting together a special anniversary dinner for my husband. In the midst of chopping vegetables, I heard my cell phone ring but couldn’t reach it in time. I’d missed a call from my dermatologist.

Whether your summer plans include a beach vacation, a long-awaited fishing trip, or just working in the garden, you’ll need to protect yourself from the sun’s ultraviolet rays — UVA (long wave) and UVB (short wave).
The last time I visited Roswell Park it was without my sister Elise. I went alone. I was still in the emotional turmoil of grieving her loss. I was very much looking forward to visiting some of her doctors and attempting to “connect to her,” and to the previous life I had with her.

In addition to treating melanoma and sarcoma patients at Roswell Park, Joseph Skitzki, MD, FACS, spent the last few years developing a high-powered, first-of-its-kind microscope for use in the operating room. In February 2016, following a short study of the microscope’s functionality, Dr. Skitzki's research team revealed its stunning findings.

Tanning, whether from the sun or from indoor tanning beds, is a leading cause of skin cancer and skin aging. You owe it to yourself and your skin to stay safe from harmful UV rays and always practice sun safety.

Solving a puzzle is a meticulous task, requiring concentration, logic and, at times, a certain degree of teamwork. Dermatopathologists solve puzzles each day and must excel in these areas, studying biopsies and providing precise diagnoses for patients.

Melanoma and soft tissue cancers are diseases in which prognosis is highly dependent on stage. Ninety to ninety-five percent of patients with early stage I diagnoses are completely cured with non-invasive treatment.

Cancer devastates lives, and that devastation isn’t limited to physical health. Many cancer patients find their disease has an impact on their finances, personal relationships and even careers.

As a teen, Donna Warner worshiped the sun from dawn to dusk. Eager to achieve a bronze complexion like her dark-haired siblings, her fair skin took a beating. Ignoring the painful sunburns she often endured, Donna continued to tan for many years.

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.

Over the last year, we have made great progress in melanoma research. This research has provided us with a better understanding of this deadly disease and has also led to new treatments.

Although tremendous strides have been made in the treatment of melanoma, there is still much work to be done. At Roswell Park we offer several clinical research studies focused on the discovery and advancement of promising therapies to treat this most dangerous form of skin cancer.