Melanoma Awareness Day

Yesterday I had the chance to attend a Melanoma awareness day at Columbia University / NewYork - Presbyterian.  This was the first year they were having one.  I know most folks are aware that May is Melanoma awareness month, but with yesterday being the beginning of November and it being so warm out, it was a good reminder to folks that every month/day should be about melanoma awareness!

Dr. Taback started the day off with an introduction.  It didn't dawn on me until after its started that I recognized his name.  His name/hopsital was recommended to me as the best place to go in the city for treatment using Interleukin 2.  I made the decision to keep IL-2 in my back pocket and try other treatment plans first (Zelboraf, Ipi, and now clinical trial of Anti-PD1).

The next portion was covered by Dr. Vishal Patel.  And he presented a Melanoma overview: disease, risks, epidemiology, and screening.  This isn't the first time that I've had doctors mention that they feel that melanoma is an epidemic.  This came up several times thru out the presentations.  I think one stat showed that the rate of occurrence for melanoma in 1935 was around 1 in 1,500 and now it's nearly 1 in 55.  This is an alarming increase and a reminder that we should really be trying to protect our bodies largest organ - our skin!

After Dr Patel was done Dr Taback came back up to talk about melanoma treatments: surgery, immunotherapy, and radiation oncology.  There were discussions about IL-2, Zelboraf, Ipi, Interferon, etc.   (Note: High-dose IL-2 has resulted in disease regression in 15% to 20% of patients with advanced melanoma and advanced kidney cancer. About 6% to 8% of these patients experience lasting or complete regression of all disease.)

We then had a short Q&A session with some great audience questions - especially around sun safety and other areas.  After a quick break, the day was ended with Nurse Paola De La Cruz talking about the patient Experience and Treatment process of Immunotherapies and then Stan Adler talking about his patient experience and incredible story!

There was a great turn out and nice to see folks still wanting to focus on Melanoma awareness even after summer is over.  Look forward to the next one they host!

PS - below are some resources and other information.
They were kind enough to list me :)
Happy to help spread the word on this event
Mollies Fund - sharing some info on Melanoma Awareness

Skin safety should start a a young age!

Ray Festa Melanoma Foundation

MRF Data

Eating Well Through Cancer - they gave this book to us when we checked in.
When diagnosed with cancer, may of us patients start to look at ways to be healthier over all.
Looking forward to trying some recipes from this book.  Will share what I try!

Merck sharing some resources
Stan Adler shares his experience and amazing story of dealing with Melanoma.  As someone who had a personal experience with it, he was diligent in his skin checks.  Having a smaller size melanoma, it was removed and forgotten.  After several years he started to not feel so great and the worst news - a CT scan would reveal tumors - too numerous to count.  After lots of research he found IL-2 and has a great experience with it!  As he stated 'Never give up and Never give in'.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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  1. Wow you're really doing great work and please tell me what are the uses of primary antibody .???

  2. Erin:

    Once again thanks you attending out event. I hope you found it to be informative. If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me at

    Brad Jobling
    Social Media Manager
    Department of Surgery