Archive for April, 2011

Skin Cancer Prevention Story

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Young Woman Warns Others ‘It Can Happen to You’

Whenever a photo is snapped of Kristine Fargotstein, the 24-year-old turns her left shoulder away from the camera to hide the 3-inch scar on her upper left arm. Even two years after surgery to remove a pre-melanoma area, she can’t help herself. She’s self-conscious when her scar is showing and dreads heading into tank top season.

“I grew up in the Southwest where it’s gorgeous outside 24-7 and we were always outdoors. We didn’t always think about sun precautions,” Fargotstein explains. “I went to college in San Diego and I was a ‘beach bunny.’ I even went to tanning beds for awhile. I admit I was stupid. I wanted to be tan for graduation.”

Saved by Early Detection

After her trips to the tanning beds, Fargotstein noticed that a mole on her arm was a little darker. She wondered if it was something to worry about.  A short time later, while she was in her dermatologist’s office for an acne consultation, she hesitated to mention her concern. Thankfully, she did say something and her dermatologist took a biopsy. When the test results were back, Fargotstein got the news that it was serious — she’d have to see a plastic surgeon and have the mole removed.

“Doctors told me that it hadn’t yet developed into melanoma and they were able to ‘cut it out,’ but that I would now be susceptible to melanoma the rest of my life,” she says. Fargotstein is now adamant about wearing sunscreen, reapplying it and having annual skin exams. Every time someone asks about her red, zigzagging scar, she’s not shy about educating them about the risks of tanning beds and sun exposure.

Fargotstein, who now lives and works in the Washington D.C. area, urges others to talk to their doctors when they notice something is wrong with their skin. “Had I not said something to my dermatologist that day, I wouldn’t have seen her again for months. It could have developed into life-threatening melanoma by then.”

Skin Cancer on the Rise

Skin cancer has been on the rise for decades. Melanoma is the most lethal kind of skin cancer. One of its first signs is a change in color, shape, feel or size of a mole. While melanoma usually strikes adults in their 40s or 50s, doctors are also finding younger people with the cancer. The best way to prevent melanoma, doctors say, is to limit your sun exposure, especially during the peak hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; wear protective clothing; wear sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15; and avoid tanning beds and sun lamps.

Skin protection is now an issue Fargotstein is passionate about. “You’re young and think you’re invincible and then you realize at the age of 22, you could have a life-threatening cancer,” she says recalling the shock she felt after her diagnosis. “I had a 100 percent control of preventing it, but I didn’t because it was too important for me to look good in my graduation dress.”

“With skin cancer, you literally have the power in your own two hands to prevent it,” Fargotstein warns. “Be aware and realize that it can happen to you.”

Skin Cancer Prevention Message from Poker Pro Maria Ho

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Prevent Cancer Foundation Presents 2011 Laurels Awards at 13th Annual Dialogue for Action on Colorectal Cancer Screening Conference

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 5, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT:
Liona Chan
(703) 519-2107
Liona.Chan@preventcancer.org

Three Recipients Honored for Advocacy, National Leadership and Innovative Programs

(BALTIMORE, MD) – The Prevent Cancer Foundation presented the 2011 Laurels Awards to three recipients on March 25 at the 13th Dialogue for Action on Colorectal Cancer Screening: Prevention Now for a Healthier Tomorrow. The Cancer Prevention Laurels recognize and celebrate innovators and leaders in the fight against colorectal cancer. This year’s Laurels recipients included Dr. Whitney F. Jones, Mary Katya Doroshenk, MA and Dr. Sanja Percac-Lima, PhD.

Dr. Whitney F. Jones, recipient of the Laurel for Advocacy, founded the Colon Cancer Prevention Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing colon cancer screening rates in Kentucky and surrounding communities. “I am primarily humbled in receiving this award—this Laurel reflects on the great work of the board and our colon cancer prevention partners in the region. So many people have worked hard over the years and none of this could have been done without them,” said Jones.

Recipient of the Laurel for National Leadership, Mary Katya Doroshenk is the director of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, an organization co-founded by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable brings together organizations for the purpose of increasing colorectal cancer screening rates. “The Prevent Cancer Foundation has provided tremendous leadership in the area of getting people screened for cancer, so it means a lot to be recognized by them,” said Doroshenk. “This award reflects how much Roundtable members contribute above and beyond their everyday jobs to our shared mission, to struggle with difficult concepts, to find solutions, and to actively demonstrate that by pooling our talents we can make a difference.”

Dr. Sanja Percac-Lima received the Cancer Prevention Laurel for Innovative Programs. “By recognizing this program, we hope that it can extend our culturally tailored multilingual patient navigator program across all primary care practices, especially among underserved populations,” said Percac-Lima. Not only does Percac-Lima teach at Harvard Medical School, but she also leads Cancer Outreach Programs at Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement.

As the creator of Dialogue for Action on Colorectal Cancer Screening, the Prevent Cancer Foundation is committed to providing an environment to exchange ideas for increasing preventive services and colorectal cancer screening.

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About The Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Prevent Cancer Foundation was founded in 1985. Today, it is one of the nation’s leading health organizations and has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence. Through healthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular cancers.
Since its inception the Prevent Cancer Foundation has provided more than $120 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education and community outreach programs across the country. The Foundation’s peer-reviewed grants have been awarded to nearly 500 scientists from more than 150 of the leading academic medical centers nationwide. This research has been pivotal in developing a body of knowledge that is the basis for important cancer prevention and early detection strategies. For more information, please visit
www.preventcancer.org.