MRF Blog

A Day With the Doctors

May 14, 2012 | Categories: Research

I spent the day last week in a meeting with doctors and researchers who gathered to discuss ocular melanoma, or melanoma of the eye.  It was the first bi-annual scientific meeting of CURE OM, the MRF’s program focusing on this rare cancer.  Spending 11 hours discussing the science of this cancer was informative and, frankly, rather exhausting.  Several things struck me about this meeting:

Teaching Our Kids Right From Wrong

May 4, 2012 | Categories: News, Prevention

Nobody has ever accused me of being at a loss for words. Ever. But I got awfully close to speechless when I saw the story of a New Jersey mom arrested for putting her daughter into a tanning booth at a salon. Many of the facts around the story are in dispute, though nobody is contradicting what the school nurse saw. A little girl with a serious sunburn. The girl told the nurse that her mom took her tanning.

Where Can You Find Idaho’s State Senate on Twitter? Try #FAIL.

March 28, 2012 | Categories: Prevention

 

In a reversal of what has become something of a national trend, the Idaho State Senate rejected a bill passed by the House that would have prohibited children under the age of 16 from going to indoor tanning salons, and required parental permission for children aged 16 and 17.  Idaho, meanwhile, has the highest melanoma rates in the country.

Brian Williams and Hope

March 9, 2012 | Categories: Treatment

 

The online community for melanoma patients has been abuzz today about a report by Brian Williams on a patient who had a remarkable experience with melanoma.

She was being treated with Yervoy, one of the two new drugs approved last year for metastatic disease, but was not responding well.  Her multiple tumors were growing and a particularly large one was pressing against her spine, causing severe pain.

Mom & Pop’s Selling Cancer

February 13, 2012 | Categories: Causes

 

The recent Congressional report on the way tanning salons market to teenagers is disturbing on a number of levels, though not particularly surprising.  This is, after all, just the latest in a long line of stories about misleading and manipulative tactics from the indoor tanning industry. 

Fighting Dirty

February 8, 2012 | Categories: Events, News, Policy, Prevention, Research

I read the report from Congress’ House Energy and Commerce Committee with great interest.  They used interns to call 300 tanning salons—at least 3 in each state and the District of Columbia—and asked salon staff questions about tanning safety.  Presenting themselves as a 16 year old girl with blond hair and fair skin, they asked if tanning was dangerous and how much they could tan.

The Question

January 9, 2012 | Categories: Treatment

 

I have been around hospitals, doctors, and life-threatening illnesses for a large portion of my life, so I was recently taken aback to learn that something I had heard said over and over in those settings might actually be insulting.

People respond to serious illness in different ways.  Some people dive deep into the internet or library and read everything they can.  Others turn to family, or to a series of second opinions.  Some simply put their trust in their doctor and say, “You know what is best, just tell me what to do.”

Gifts and Giving

December 27, 2011 | Categories: Research

 

A close relative is a two-time cancer survivor.  He was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer that is notorious for recurrence.  Fortunately the doctors caught it early and rounds of radiation and chemotherapy worked their magic on the tumor.  When he came back for a follow-up check after finishing therapy, they found a spot on his kidney.  He was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had to have that organ removed.  That was over a dozen years ago and he is still NED – no evidence of disease. 

Holiday Spirit

December 19, 2011 | Categories: Patient Stories

 

The holidays can be challenging in many ways, and particularly when the previous year has brought the death of a loved one.  Often, when someone dies of melanoma, the family elects to have donations made to MRF in that person’s memory.  I am always moved by these decisions, that in the middle of a tragic event the people most affected by loss choose to use that event to help other people.

Public Servants

December 6, 2011 | Categories: Policy

 

Newscasters tell us that the approval rating for the US Congress is at an all-time low—under 10%.  We hear a lot about a “do-nothing” Congress, and have become jaded about the commitment and dedication of these, often, career politicians.

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