It’s Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Please join the AACR in supporting skin cancer and melanoma research.
There are several different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell skin cancer, and squamous cell skin cancer.
Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the United States, with more than 2 million people diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are non-melanoma skin cancers, are the most common types of skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body.
Melanoma is the rarest and most aggressive form of skin cancer. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
Although melanoma represents less than 5 percent of the skin cancer cases diagnosed in the United States each year, it results in the most deaths. According to estimates made from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, some 76,000 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma and more than 10,000 people will die of the disease in 2016.
Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion. Unusual moles, exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma.
In addition to the skin, Melanoma may also occur in mucous membranes – thin, moist layers of tissue that cover surfaces such as the lips – or in the eye, which is called ocular or u-vale melanoma
What the AACR Is Currently Doing in This Area
The AACR and the Ocular Melanoma Foundation (OMF) support the AACR-Ocular Melanoma Foundation Fellowship, in honor of Robert C. Allen, MD, to find cures and better treatments for ocular melanoma – a rare and aggressive form of melanoma.
The AACR collaborates with the OMF to provide a fellowship that supports talented early-career investigators conducting research in ocular melanoma. This one-year fellowship of $50,000 represents a joint effort to encourage and support a postdoctoral or clinical research fellow to conduct ocular/u-veal melanoma research and to establish a successful career path in ophthalmology, ocular oncology, u-veal melanoma cancer biology, or a similar field.
The grantee for 2016 is Jessica Teh, PhD, a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, for her study, “Utility of CDK4/6 inhibitors in uveal melanoma.”
The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all forms of cancer.