UA Skin Cancer Institute holds 4th annual melanoma walk
As the weather cools and warm summer heat begins to disappear, more people make their way outdoors to participate in activities such as walking, biking and running. However, not everyone is still thinking about sunscreen. That is a potentially life-threatening mistake.
This weekend, the Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona Cancer Center will present a philanthropy event known as the Melanoma Walk, a family and dog-friendly walk to raise money to further melanoma research and the many outreach activities supporting the Skin Cancer Institute.
“Our primary purpose for having this walk is to show our support for all those affected by melanoma, while moving our mission of curing and preventing skin cancer forward,” said Lisa Quale, health educator at the Skin Cancer Center.
Melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer, affects many people in the United States.
“Someone dies of melanoma every hour in the United States alone, and approximately 87,000 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in this United States this year,” Quale said.
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Denise Spartanos and Lisa Quale organized this event with help from student workers and volunteers. The purpose is to promote the Skin Cancer Institute’s main message: to serve as a model for community-based skin cancer outreach, education and patient care.
According to the website, their long-term goal is to decrease skin cancer incidence through increasing public awareness of sun safety and skin cancer detection.
Most people have a hard time detecting symptoms of skin cancer, which can be extremely harmful; if not caught early and removed, it can invade other parts of the body and become life-threatening.
“We teach skin cancer detection skills to help people learn how to do a skin self-exam, and what to look for," Quale said. "Our hope is to get the word out that most skin cancer is not only very preventable through sun-safe behaviors, but that it’s very important to find it early before it becomes disfiguring and, in the case of melanoma, even deadly."
Further research in life-threatening diseases such as melanoma helps the public be more aware of the symptoms and understand possible prevention techniques.
The 8th annual Melanoma Walk is this weekend, Nov. 4. It starts and ends on the UA Mall, where there will be a tented area for event sponsor displays, a silent auction and giveaways. There will also be music, fun activities for kids, free food and goody bags for walk participants.
The Skin Cancer Institute's goal for the event is to raise $75,000. So far, they have raised $45,160.
The event opens at 3 p.m. and the walk starts at 4:30 p.m. In addition, the UA Skin Cancer Institute will be providing free skin cancer screenings 2-4 p.m. The cost is $30 for adults, $15 for children ages 10-14, and free for children under 9 years old. Online registration ends at midnight on Thursday, Nov. 2.
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