Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, we had a different relationship with the sun. We didn’t think we looked good or “healthy” unless we had a tan. Ironic, isn’t it? I spent many hours in my teens and 20s laying out in the sun – burn, peel, repeat…until the tan took hold.
I recently had a skin cancer removed, and I’m worried about recurrence. I know I’m now at higher risk for more skin cancers, but can that same cancer come back even after it’s been treated?
Each year, we award several grants to dermatology residents, fellows and young faculty to fund research and clinical studies related to skin cancer. This year, the Todd Nagel Memorial Award was given to Dr. William Damsky, researcher at Yale University, for his study “Elucidating and Overcoming Mechanisms of Immunotherapy Resistance in Melanoma.”
With the recent FDA approval of the drug nivolumab (Opdivo®, previously approved for stage IV melanoma) as a treatment for stage III melanoma, we have reached the next important phase in the immunotherapy revolution. It is a revolution that most of the world’s top experts believe will one day, very possibly within a decade, turn advanced (stages III and IV) melanoma into a chronic, or even curable, disease rather than a deadly one.
In the summer of 2006, Kevin noticed a mole on his shoulder that seemed to have changed colors, so he went to see a dermatologist. A biopsy determined that the mole was a malignant melanoma.
When Nicole Kinnunen started dating her husband-to-be, she spotted a large, strange-looking mole on his leg. He told her it was nothing. Eleven years after they married, that melanoma left their family without a husband and father.
Even with my background in beauty and skin health, words like dysplastic nevus and metastatic are not words I have used every day and can be worrisome when you hear them used in your dermatologist’s office. So, for my first blog post, I thought I’d share some of my recently acquired knowledge with our readers.
Chelsea Dawson’s days are filled with the hectic joy of motherhood. After ending her workday at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Virginia, she heads to day care to pick up her toddler, Lee. Then it’s home for dinner with her husband, Bryan, and stepson, Gavin, before putting the kids to bed and catching her breath. Balancing work, home and family can be tough, but you won’t hear Chelsea complain.
You might already know that catching a cancer early means a more favorable prognosis. But it can be difficult to comprehend just how big a difference early detection makes with melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma should never be underestimated, but treating a tumor early rather than after it is allowed to progress could be lifesaving.
Sometimes identifying a potential skin cancer isn’t so straightforward. Skin cancer comes in many forms, and tumors don’t always display the most well-known characteristics of the disease.