All those Beach Days Could Spell Trouble for Your Skin

Released: 15-May-2012 9:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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All of those Beach Days This Summer Could Spell Trouble for Your Skin!

CINJ Experts Available for Comment on Ways to Protect Yourself from the Sun

Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J., May 15, 2012– As Memorial Day Weekend and the start of summer beach season fast approach, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) is making experts available to discuss the risks of developing skin cancer and what steps can be taken to prevent it. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than two million new cases of skin cancer are discovered across the United States each year. This year more than 76,000 new cases of melanoma, the most serious -- and often deadly -- form of skin cancer, are expected nationally, with 2,300 in New Jersey. Precautions such as avoiding sun exposure during midday hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and avoiding tanning beds and sun lamps all contribute to the prevention of skin cancer.

Early detection of melanoma can be found by following a simple ABCD assessment:
Asymmetry (one half of the mole does not match the other half)
Border irregularity (the edges of a mole are ragged, notched, or blurred)
Color (the pigmentation of a mole is not uniform, with variable colors of tan, brown, or black)
Diameter of a mole is greater than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser)

CINJ experts available for comment include:

Janice Mehnert, MD, is a medical oncologist in CINJ’s Melanoma and Soft Tissue Oncology Program and an assistant professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Mehnert treats patients with melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes or to other distant organs within the body. Her research focuses on the development of novel drugs for the treatment of all forms of cancer, with a special focus on tumors of the skin, bone and soft tissues.

James Goydos, MD, is the director of the Melanoma and Soft Tissue Oncology Program at CINJ and an associate professor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Goydos treats patients with melanoma and can discuss such personal risk factors as family history, mole prevalence, weakened immune system and other subjects related to the prevention and treatment of skin cancer. He is currently researching the use of the drug riluzole (commonly used in the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s disease) in the treatment of melanoma.

Jerod Stapleton, PhD is a behavioral scientist in CINJ’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program and an assistant professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Stapleton is currently conducting research on the use of indoor tanning beds by young females and the psychology behind this use. His current study focuses on socio-cultural and media influences on the tanning behaviors of young people.

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