Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation
Media Contact: Amy Murphy
O: 480-556-0446, ext. 245
(Phoenix, AZ) -- August 27, 2014
News Release: The Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation launches its new campaign, “Mammogram and Skin Exam-Know The Cancer Connection.”
As Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and Breast Cancer become more prevalent in this country, the connection between the two cancers cannot be ignored. The Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation is urging women to get into the habit of scheduling a skin exam at the same time they schedule a mammogram.
Recent research shows patients with either breast cancer or melanoma are almost four times more likely to develop the other malignancy, than probability would lead researchers to expect.
In a group study of more than a half million women with breast cancer, researchers found an increased risk of melanoma at 29%. In another study of breast cancer patients 50 years of age and under, research determined a 46% increase in the risk of developing melanoma.
Additionally, research also shows one of the most common therapies to combat breast cancer, XRT (external radiation therapy) creates an especially heightened melanoma risk at 42%, even in non-irradiated sites.
Dr. Richard Averitte, MD, founder of the Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation, says, “I started noticing that several of my female melanoma patients also had radiation tattoos from treatment for breast cancer. It was at this point, I became interested in the link and found that researchers have long known there was a connection between the two cancers.”
Dr. Averitte adds, “Regular mammograms are the standard of care for women over 50. We at the Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation would urge all women getting mammograms to schedule a full body skin exam at the same time. “
Female hormones, already known to play a role in breast cancer, have been a concern in regard to melanoma growth, especially in associations between melanoma and pregnancy. Pregnancy does not increase the risk of melanoma, however research shows that melanomas diagnosed during pregnancy tend to be thicker and more dangerous than those in non-pregnant patients.
Dr. Averitte says, “ the Breast Cancer Linkage Consortium also found that women exhibiting the BRCA2 gene have nearly three times the risk of developing melanoma than non-carriers. It boils down to the fact that a woman’s skin is her largest organ and often times it is overlooked in annual well-woman exams. We at the Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation want to change that by spreading the word- Mammogram and Skin Exam- Know the Cancer Connection!”
- 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer
- Melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults (especially women aged 25-29 years old.)
- Rates of Melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years
- Last year there were more than 2.8 million women in the U.S. with a history of breast cancer, including women currently being treated and those who have finished treatment
- Some of the most invasive, deadly melanomas form on the soles of one’s feet, in finger nail beds and between the toes
- Nothing catches early-stage skin cancer better than regular full-body exams
The Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation, established in 2011, is a 501 C-3 non-profit that provides financial assistance to people with skin cancer, and provides life-saving treatment for those who are uninsured and under-insured. ASCF’s key goals: education, awareness, treatment and prevention.
Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation
20401 N. 73rd Street Suite 230, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255