LINKS AND REFERENCES
Melanoma / Skin Cancer Information & Literature
On-Line Searching of Medical Literature
Finding Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons, Screenings, and Mole Monitoring Resources
Tanning Bed Use and Melanoma
Resources for Melanoma Patients
On-Line Courses for Primary Care Physicians and Health Care Providers
Facial Skin Analyzer Machines
Elementary School Resources
College and University Resources
Protective Film for Automobile Windows
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has a comprehensive web site and publishes a wide selection of literature, posters, and videos about melanoma and other skin diseases. Phone: (Live: 847-330-0230; Recordings: 888-462-33760) or visit their internet site.
The National Cancer Institute has illustrated photos of melanomas, normal moles, and atypical moles, some of which are utilized in our pages. A list of publications, including a highly recommended booklet, "What You Need to Know About Moles and Dysplastic Nevi" is also available on-line or may be ordered by phone (800-4-CANCER). The first 20 booklets ordered each month are free; additional booklets are 15 cents each with a minimum of 50 booklets.
The American Cancer Society has on-line information about melanoma and publishes an excellent booklet, "What You Should Know About Melanoma," which can be requested by phone (800-ACS-2345) or on-line.
The Skin Cancer Foundation, Phone: 800-754-6490, publishes literature about skin cancers and also provides information via their comprehensive internet site.
The DermAtlas is a comprehensive on-line collection of images of skin diseases and conditions compiled by Johns Hopkins University physicians.
Dermnet of New Zealand furnished the skin examination illustrations used in our pages and maintains a comprehensive melanoma information site.
An educational web site in England, www.dermatologist.co.uk, has excellent photos and information about melanoma, other skin cancers, and many other skin conditions and diseases.
"Melanoma Prevention Detection & Treatment" by C.M. Poole (Yale University Press, 2nd Edition, 2005) is an excellent book written in everyday language by an author who found a relatively early melanoma on her leg and was successfully treated. The book is available free to melanoma patients and their families (www.melanomaintl.org).
The National Library of Medicine maintains the PubMed search site, which can be used to search the medical literature for papers on melanoma and other diseases of interest.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) can refer you to dermatologists and, if available, free skin cancer screenings in your area through their internet site. AAD phone (Live: 847-330-0230; Recordings: 888-462-3376). The American Society of Plastic Surgeons can provide information about plastic surgeons in your area.
If you have too many moles to monitor yourself, dermatologists can provide mole-mapping using conventional or digital photography. Dermalert provides a commercial service involving computer analysis of body area photographs taken periodically, typically by a family member. The analysis identifies new moles and existing moles which have increased in size. The information can then be taken to a dermatologist.
Instruments based on digital epiluminescence microscopy (DELM), are sometimes used to detect uneven pigmentation or other characteristics of very early melanomas before visual changes are noticeable. Utilizing polarized light and microscopes or magnifying lenses, the instruments provide sub-surface images which are obscured by surface reflections when using normal light. Some instruments have the capacity to gather and store images of moles or other skin growths and compare them against previous images or against comparison images from a database. A relatively low cost (under $400 US) pocket model instrument using polarized light and a 10X magnifying lens is available from Dermlite and is popular among dermatologists.
Click here to download an excellent article on the dangers of indoor UV tanning from Prevention magazine, May, 2004.
Abstract of Swedish study on incidence of melanoma among frequent tanning bed users (American Journal of Epidemiology, 1994).
Australian study of the relationship between tanning bed use and melanoma (November, 2007).
The Melanoma Patient's Information Page is an excellent, comprehensive web site that provides up to date information on melanoma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment (including clinical trials). If you are a newly diagnosed melanoma patient or a family member or friend and don't know where to start this is the place.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides on-line clinical trial search which can be utilized to get information about experimental treatments for melanoma and other types of cancer. An NCI booklet, "What You Need to know About Melanoma," is also available on-line or may be ordered by phone (800-4-CANCER).
The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has an excellent internet site with information for melanoma patients.
"Mike's Page - The Melanoma Resource Center" is a comprehensive site established in memory of Mike Tustison, who died of melanoma at age 30 in 1996. It is also home of MEL-L, a melanoma e-mail list through which melanoma patients and family members can share advice and experiences with each other.
In Great Britain the UK Melanoma Forum provides support for melanoma patients and their caregivers.
"Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings" by Ellen McVikcer is a wonderful book for children who have loved ones with cancer.
An outstanding online series of short courses, "Skin Cancer Education for Primary Care Physicians ," is available from The Virtual Lecture Hall (VLH). The courses are presented with masterful clarity and organization. VLH registation is required and CME credit hours (optional) have a small fee. The series consists of seven short courses that can be taken separately (Early Recognition and Management of Melanoma, Managing Patients with Skin Cancer Risk Factors, Skin Cancer Prevention, Differentiating Common Benign Lesions from Melanomas, Actinic Keratoses, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma).
A shorter but also highly recommended on-line tutorial from Arthur Huntley, MD, University of California at Davis, is "How to Recognize a Melanoma."
These portable table-top machines are wonderful tools for increasing awareness of the damaging effects of the sun among teens and adults. If a user with facial sun damage looks into the machine he/she sees purple freckles - the more freckles, the more damage. Machines are available on loan from many American Cancer Society offices or they may be purchased. Prices differ although the machines are similar inside. Analyzers are available on eBay; most are maufactured and shipped from China.
Unlike high schools and middle schools, sun protection and awareness of UV radiation damage should be the predominant theme in educating elementary school students about skin cancer. Although MEF does not provide direct services to elementary schools there are some excellent resources available. A combination of the 10 minute video, "Gear Up for Summer ," produced by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Project Safety, and EPA SunWise programming materials is highly recommended.
The video may be ordered for $5.00 (including shipping) using an order form that may be accessed from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Project Safety web site.
EPA SunWise programming materials include grade-appropriate classroom lessons and activities and is free for participating elementary schools. Complete information and the SunWise School Program Guide is available at http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/.
There are several other organizations and foundations that provide excellent elementary school skin cancer support services. Among them:
The SunSmart web site, operated by the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria (Australia),
includes downloadable teaching materials for primary, middle, and high schools.
Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation (Massachusetts)
Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation (Florida)
The Coalition for Skin Cancer Prevention in Maryland has a well-organized educational site with
downloadable curriculum materials for Maryland elementary school teachers and students.
L'Oreal Sunshine is an exceptionally good web site for children (and adults) to learn about the
effects of sun exposure, skin types, the body's natural defenses, and protective measures.
During college-age years vulnerability to melanoma increases dramatically but the majority of college students know little or nothing about melanoma and their susceptibility to it. Like high school students, many college students realize that too much sun causes skin cancer but most do not realize that the type of skin cancer most likely to strike them is common - and deadly if not caught early. Many colleges and universities include skin cancer education as part of annual health fairs but the focus is often on sun avoidance and fails to effectively warn students about their risk of melanoma and the need to check their skin regularly.
Improving Melanoma Education in Colleges & Universities
1. Redundancy is essential. No single method of communication is likely to be entirely effective by itself; try at least two ways of reaching students each academic year. If skin cancer is part of a Spring health fair, consider a Fall e-mail message or article in the campus newspaper urging readers to visit www.skincheck.org.
2. Avoid focusing only on sun protection; aim for balance by first creating an awareness of melanoma and the need for regular self-skin examination, then discussing sun-protection. Otherwise students will ignore sun safety warnings because they don't fully appreciate the consequences. And, although sun protection will reduce additional risk, most melanomas in college-age individuals develop because of past exposure or hereditary factors.
3. If e-mail or other suitable means of communication are available include faculty, staff, parents, and alumni in the distribution of melanoma information. Nearly half of the members of these populations also have little or no knowledge of melanoma.
4. Health information in academic web sites is not likely to be read by a significant fraction of the academic community unless members are driven to the site by independent means of communication such as e-mail or articles in college newsletters or student newspapers. Phrasing of the message is of critical importance because readers will tend to visit the site only if they perceive the reason applies to them individually. If the message only mentions "skin cancer" and/or "sun protection" it may be perceived by readers as non-essential because of previous misconceptions.
5. For community colleges and other commuter campuses in which students lack e-mail access, consider including information in a regularly scheduled mailing. Posters placed in stalls of campus rest rooms also draw attention.
6. Avoid scheduling outdoor athletic events between peak sunlight hours of 10 am and 3 pm. Be especially vigilant in promoting melanoma awareness and prevention to outdoor athletic team members.
Rcommendation for Melanoma Presentation at Colleges and Universities
Melanoma survivor Meghan Rothschild is available for student awareness presentations on college and university campuses. She is a skilled speaker and is passionate about the cause.
She was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma at age 20. After 2 ½ years of baking herself in indoor tanning beds, she discovered a dark, itchy mole on her stomach. She thought nothing of the spot, but had it removed anyways. A week later her doctor called her back into the office to remove stitches. It was here that she first heard the "C" word. She spent her sophomore year in college battling cancer.
Since her diagnosis, Meghan has spent the last 6 years spreading the word about this deadly disease. She became a National Spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology in May of 2008. She has been featured on national news programs such as World News with Charles Gibson, The Mike and Juliet Show, and Inside Edition. She has posed for Fitness Magazine, WebMD, Marie Claire, and is being honored by Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Contact her at MRothschild@SurvivingSkin.org or visit www.SurvivingSkin.org for more information.