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Advances in the Treatment of Melanoma

More from Patient Power host Andrew Schorr on the Advances in the Treatment of Melanoma show.

More than a million people this year will be diagnosed with skin cancer in America. Unfortunately, the most serious skin cancer, melanoma, is increasing and so is the death rate. Is it because of breaks in the Ozone Layer? Is it that we enjoy being in the sun without proper protection?

With one of our presidential candidates, John McCain, being a melanoma survivor, as well as the increase in melanoma rates, we are talking about melanoma a lot more – and we should be! If only we treated the sun’s radiation as more of something to be wary of. If only we took precautions and looked for changes in moles and our skin in general, we could catch and eliminate melanomas early, remove them surgically and be cured.

Unfortunately, few of us check our skin, and too few of us are careful with the sun. Our webcast with Dr. Patrick Hwu left me with more respect for the danger of the sun and the danger of melanoma. I also gained respect for researchers at MD Anderson who are working hard to come up with better treatments for people when melanoma has spread. This is yet another one of those situations where MD Anderson may have a treatment to offer, as part of a clinical trial, that other centers may not.

This program replay has much to offer people needing treatment for melanoma but also for the millions of us who are at risk and hoping to avoid a melanoma diagnosis.

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