There is a fatal gap in melanoma education. Among the 25-29 year age group, melanoma is the most prevalent cancer. The incidence is increasing by nearly 4% every year, faster than any other cancer. An average of one of every 75 students will develop melanoma during their lives and it will strike a serious fraction while they are young. It occurs regardless of physical condition, health, complexion or family history.
The good news is that Melanoma is the easiest of all cancers to spot at the earliest stages by simple self-examination, when it is almost guaranteed curable by painless removal in a dermatologist's office. It is important to seek treatment immediately as waiting allows it to invade internally, transforming it to one of the most malignant and incurable of all cancers.
Read the following note by parents who lost their son to melanoma:
We want to urge students to visit an educational internet site about melanoma at www.skincheck.com. Our son died of melanoma in 1998 at age 26 and we established the website to prevent similar tragedies in other families.
The site focuses on early detection of melanoma by self-examination of the skin to detect the disease while it is thin and curable. It also tells our son's story.
Information in the site is from the American Academy of Dermatology, National Cancer Institute and other reliable sources. Both AAD and NCI have added links to our site.
There is no request for contributions, no advertising and no hidden agenda in the non-profit public service website.
Our son would likely be alive today if he had received this kind of information about a disease, which is much more common and serious than most people realize.
Stephen and Gail Fine
Contact Health Services for more information about melanoma.