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    7 Spots Melanoma May Be Hiding

    Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Although it accounts for just 2% of all skin cancers, melanoma causes the most deaths from skin cancer. Melanomas, like other skin cancers, are most treatable when caught at their earliest stages before the cancer has spread.1,2

    Exposure to UV light, whether by the sun or in tanning beds, is a major risk factor for melanoma, so it may come as no surprise that melanomas are often found on the parts of the body that get direct sun, like the face, arms, and legs. However, there are some less obvious places where melanoma may be hiding, including:

    Melanoma can develop under fingernails or toenails. Women who frequently get gel manicures, which are hardened with UV lamps, may be at increased risk. Because melanoma can hide under nails, it’s important to remove any nail polish before your doctor checks your skin.

    You may think the scalp is only a target for melanoma for people who are bald or have thinning hair, but in fact, melanoma can hide even under those with long tresses. The American Cancer Society recommends using a comb and hairdryer to part hair and inspect the scalp.

    Feet and toes
    Don’t forget to check your feet, including the soles of the feet and in between the toes. Melanoma can occur on these surfaces of the skin.

    Ears are another location melanoma may appear, including on the pinna (the large fleshy part) or the space between the ear and the scalp.

    Melanoma can even show up in places where the sun doesn’t shine, like the crease between the buttocks. Use a hand mirror to check for any unusual spots.

    The eyelids can be vulnerable to melanoma, too. Before going for a check-up with your doctor, remove any makeup that might camouflage suspicious spots.

    Behind a tattoo
    Some people get tattoos to cover moles or birthmarks, however, the ink can make it more difficult to spot melanomas. Tattoo ink does not increase a person’s risk of melanoma, but removal of the tattoo with laser devices can be problematic if a melanoma is hiding beneath the ink.3-5

    What to look for: the ABCDE’s
    Many people have heard they should look for the ABCDE’s of skin cancer. As a review, it stands for:

    A – Asymmetrical shape, like moles that are irregular or not symmetrical
    B – Border, moles that have an unclear or unusual border
    C – Color, especially the presence of more than one color in a mole
    D – Diameter, moles that are larger than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
    E – Evolution, which involves any changes to a mole over time6
    The American Cancer Society recommends getting regular skin checks by a doctor, like a dermatologist who specializes in skin conditions, as well as performing monthly self-checks. Self-examinations are best conducted in a well-lit room and in front of a mirror. In addition, a hand mirror is needed to view some areas of the body, or you can ask a loved one to help.2

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    7-time cancer patient fights for support to enter clinical trial

    BOSTON —
    A 35-year-old from Massachusetts is fighting cancer for the seventh time. Her only hope is convincing insurance to pay for an out-of-state clinical trial.

    Nicole Sorensen's hip tumor was detected at the size of a pea but has grown to the size of a squash and it continues to spread down her leg. As a result, she walks with a limp.

    She's trying to get into a clinical trial that could shrink the tumor and save her leg, but needs her health insurer to reach an agreement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The medication would be free, but insurance would need to pay for the doctors and lab testing.

    In dire pain each day, she spends hours on the phone struggling to facilitate a deal.

    Recently, with time running out, Neighborhood Health Plan said financial approvals are in the works for the treatment. Still, Sorensen is concerned.

    "The longer it's in there, the greater the chance I lose my leg," she said.

    UPDATE: After this story first aired on WCVB, Sorensen received good news! Her insurer and the hospital have reached a deal and scheduled her first appointment.
    There is a video with this story here - http://www.wcvb.com/article/7-time-cancer-patient-fighting-for-support-to-enter-clinical-trial/15898678

  • UpandUp's Avatar

    UpandUp posted an update

    This is pretty neat!

    A Team of Students Just Won a Prestigious Award For This Cheap Skin Cancer Detector
    "It's a very clever device with the potential to save lives around the world."


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    Here is a good article on the warning signs of skin cancer.


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    UpandUp posted an update

    'For a Skin Cancer Survivor, the Sand Isn’t Nearly as Menacing as the Sun' This golfer is a skin cancer survivor and is still out in the sun everyday, what do you think? Smart or not?

    1 Comment
    • Keith59's Avatar

      If I'm lucky enough to be a survivor.....I'll be on a golf course every weekend somewhere.

      almost 6 years ago
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    A "good news" article for us!

    NEW YORK — Oncologists at Weill Cornell Medical College have used an innovative combination of pharmacologic immune-enhancing therapies and low-dose chemotherapy to successfully reverse the course of the most deadly type of skin cancer - malignant melanoma - in an 80-year old patient in which the disease had spread widely.