Melanoma Awareness: The Importance of Early Detection

The survival rate for melanoma depends a lot on the stage of the cancer. When caught early, melanoma is highly curable.Layout 1

While the overall five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with melanoma is high at 92 percent, the survival rate decreases dramatically once melanoma spreads to other parts of the body. And while treatments for late-stage melanoma are improving rapidly, thanks to research supported by MRA, the survival rates are still low.

That’s why early detection of melanoma is so important. Here are a few tips to help with early detection:

Know Your Skin and Examine it Regularly. Recognizing changes in the skin is the best way to detect melanoma early. Add monthly skin checks to your routine.

Look for the ABCDEs of Melanoma. Pay attention to moles or growths that are asymmetrical, have an irregular border, exhibit changes in color, have a diameter larger than the size of a pencil eraser, or have evolved in size or thickness. If you notice one or more of these signs, see your healthcare provider.

Know If You Are At Higher Risk

People with the following traits are at higher risk for developing melanoma and other skin cancers:

  • Fair skin
  • Red or blonde hair
  • Light eyes
  • More than 50 moles
  • History of sunburn or UV exposure
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Personal history of skin cancer

Getting to know your skin and recognizing any changes is the best way to help detect melanoma and other skin cancers. Learn more ways to educate yourself.


Corporate Partners Join in the Fight Against Melanoma

By Logan Kastner 
Director of Development and Marketing

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Melanoma Awareness Month is off to a great start! We have so many people and corporations to thank for all they are doing to raise awareness of this deadly cancer. Like so many of you, the Melanoma Research Alliance is committed to ending death and suffering caused by melanoma. And, we are passionate about building partnerships that will help us continue to fund cutting-edge melanoma cancer research.

We collaborate with like-minded corporations through cause marketing programs that promote melanoma awareness among the public and generate critical funding all year round. Our corporate partners help us to extend our reach by tapping into new networks to share important messages about melanoma research and melanoma prevention. They have devoted time, energy and resources to help raise awareness and funds that support MRA.

Nearly 20 companies have joined our efforts to make a difference against this disease. We encourage you to check out our corporate partners page and consider supporting them. Together, we’ll make a greater impact and truly make a difference in the fight against melanoma!

About The Author

Logan E. Kastner is Director of Marketing and Development for the Melanoma Research Alliance. Kastner joined MRA in 2015 from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), where she worked as senior director of member value creation and meeting services.

Kicking off Melanoma Awareness Month

Today marks the start of Melanoma Awareness Month, a time of reflection and, indeed, excitRates of melanoma are increasing.ement in the field of melanoma research. Eight new drugs have been approved for melanoma in five years, which is remarkable progress.

But the death rate for patients with advanced melanoma is still high. As rates of melanoma continue to rise, prevention and early detection are the best strategy for improving outcomes in melanoma.

Melanoma of the skin is one of the most common cancers in the United States – among the top 10 causes of new cancer cases.

Here are some easy ways you can help during Melanoma Awareness Month:

  • Increase Awareness: Take steps to learn how to reduce your risk of developing melanoma. View our Melanoma Awareness Resources.
  • Spread the Word: We’ll be sharing information throughout the month on social media and encourage you to share as well. Feel free to use our infographics.
  • Get To Know Our Partners: Many of our corporate partners are launching promotional campaigns during the month of May that will benefit MRA. View our list of corporate partners and consider supporting them.

Thanks for helping to raise awareness about melanoma!

Melanoma News Round-Up, May 24

The third week of Melanoma Awareness Month is coming to a close and we have so much news to share with you, but before we recap—check out what’s happening right now!

Today is Sunhat Saturday, a day devoted to the importance of wearing hats as sun protection.  Join us in celebrating Sunhat Saturday by sharing pictures of yourself, your family and friends wearing hats and you could be featured on our Twitter or Facebook! #SunhatSat

SunhatSat FB

Monday, MRA’s president and CEO, Wendy Selig, wrote It’s Time for the US to Catch Up on Melanoma Prevention for the Huffington Post.  Later that day, MRA announced the 2014 research grants, awarding a record-breaking $11 million to 19 institutions worldwide.  MRA also attended the GSK Summit where melanoma bloggers and thought leaders met to discuss new ways to engage with melanoma patients and how to make a difference.

Tuesday, MRA attended the BayBio briefing on Capitol Hill where Wendy Selig spoke about the importance of federal funding of medical research.  At 5:00 PM, the L’Oréal Paris It’s THAT Worth IT Thunderclap went live with over 2,500 supporters jointly broadcasting to over 7 million people about the importance of sunscreen and supporting MRA’s research program.  Later that evening, MRA’s Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma event at Rockefeller Center in New York City raised an astounding $1.4 million for melanoma research.  We are thankful to L’Oréal Paris, Bergdorf Goodman, Eric Javits and Double Cross Vodka for their contributions to the event.

Wednesday, MRA attended the Shade Foundation poster contest where K-8 children created posters on sun safety.  The event drove home the importance of educating the young on the dangers of UV rays and how sun protection is essential for everyone’s well-being.  Here’s a picture of one of the winners!

Shade Foundation winner

Friday, Wendy Selig appeared on FOX News to discuss the Sunscreen Innovation Act and how the US needs the best sunscreen products to prevent melanoma.  We also celebrated national Don’t Fry Day, spreading the message of sun safety as a timely reminder on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.  Sun protection is especially important during the summer when people will be spending more time outdoors, so please stay sun safe.

Finally, here are a few highlights from the melanoma news this week:

Minnesota becomes 8th state to ban indoor tanning for minors via NY Daily News

Don’t Fry Day: A Reminder to Protect Your Skin via Huffington Post

A powerful story from melanoma survivor Michelle LeBlanc via Close Up With Elizabeth Grady

Skin cancer increases risk of other cancers via Health Blog


Melanoma News Round-Up, May 17

So much exciting news as we pass the halfway point of Melanoma Awareness Month!

ICYMI we shared our new video highlighting MRA’s collaborative approach to melanoma research and raising awareness.


We also shared Jamie’s story as she expressed ‘the reality of “surviving” stage IV melanoma.’

Next Tuesday, May 20, two exciting events will take place:

Finally, here are a few highlights of the melanoma news coverage this week:

10 Things to Know About Melanoma via ABCNews

A bittersweet story about a young mother of two who lost her husband to melanoma when he was only 28 via Delaware State News

A melanoma survivor tells teens to “rock the skin you’re in,” use sunscreen & avoid indoor tanning via WOWT

Blood biomarkers may enhance melanoma detection potentially reducing the need for invasive skin biopsies via MedicalXpress

‘Michelle’s Melanoma Army’ educates teens on skin cancer via The Anniston Star

Encouraging results for nivolumab in hopes of raising survival expectations for advanced melanoma patients via BMS News




A Word About May


We just wanted to take a minute and give some long-overdue thanks to the fabulous corporate allies who helped us run a successful Melanoma Awareness Month back in May!  Through online and in-store efforts, the allies helped raise funds for MRA’s scientific research programs and also increased awareness of melanoma prevention and safe sun behaviors.  The number of 2013 alliances is a new record for MRA, which has doubled its number of May partners in the three years since launching its May initiative.

We are especially grateful to Claire’s and Sports Authority, whose consumer choice donation campaigns during the month of May helped generate nearly $500,000 for MRA’s cutting-edge melanoma research programs.  Claire’s asked customers to donate $1 to MRA while checking out and promoted the alliance with in-store signage and social media messaging on MRA and sun safety.  Sports Authority encouraged its customers to donate to MRA by rounding up each purchase to the next dollar.  Store signage, print and electronic brochures, as well as internal and social media communications bolstered the campaign’s impact. Overall, these two partners helped MRA spread its message of sun safety and melanoma awareness to more than 10 million people throughout the month.

Several other allies donated a percentage of sales from a specific sun safe item or line of items to MRA.  Many of our allies also engaged their social media fans by posting melanoma facts and skin cancer prevention tips throughout the month, encouraging their fans and customers to practice sun safety, and further broadening our reach.  Additionally, we launched several longer-term awareness and fundraising campaigns in May, including a comprehensive consumer-facing campaign with L’Oréal Paris and a mobile and social media-driven donation campaign in honor of the E Street Band’s Danny Federici.

Our committed and diverse set of 2013 May allies included: AT&T, American Idol Live! Tour 2013, AOL, Backstreets, Bergdorf Goodman, Brelli, Cabana Life, Chapstick, Claire’s, Columbia Records, COOLA, Eric Javits, First Aid Beauty, James Perse, L’Oréal Paris , Mott 50, Parasol, SkinCeuticals, SPF Love, and Sports Authority.

We’re already laying the groundwork for May 2014, so if you have any suggestions or your corporation would like to collaborate with MRA, please contact MRA Development Manager Jennifer Engel at (jengel at