UK Experts Available to Comment on Risk Factors for Melanoma, Pancreatic Cancers

WHAT: UK Markey Cancer Center experts are available to comment on causes, genetic and lifestyle risk factors and treatments for melanoma and pancreatic cancers, which have both affected former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

WHO: Dr. Ching-Wei Tzeng, surgical oncologist; and Dr. Peter Hosein, medical oncologist; both specializing in gastrointestinal cancers including pancreatic cancer

Dr. Peng Wang, medical oncologist; specializing in melanoma and sarcoma (skin cancer)

Elizabeth Reilly, genetic counselor for the Markey Cancer Center

WHEN: Interviews by request.

MORE: Carter recently announced that he has been diagnosed with multiple cancers originating from an undiscovered melanoma. During a surgical procedure on his liver, doctors found a cancerous mass on Carter's liver, later determined to be metastasis from melanoma. Physicans later discovered that melanoma had also metastasized to Carter's brain. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer, accounting for less than 2 percent of skin cancer cases but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. It is also one of the most common cancers in young adults, especially young women.

Additionally, four of Carter's immediate family members had previously died of pancreatic cancer, raising questions about the hereditary risk for this deadly disease. Pancreatic cancer is often difficult to diagnose, and is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. If a pancreatic cancer is detected at an early stage when surgical intervention is a possibility, the five-year survival rate is 26 percent. If the cancer has spread, the survival rate drops drastically.