Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. The incidence continues to rise on a world-wide basis. In 2013, there were over 13,000 new cases in the UK, and 2,000 deaths from melanoma. Furthermore, melanoma is more common than many other cancers (eg breast cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer) in patients in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
By 2030 melanoma will be alongside the top 5 cancers. It is already the most popular cancer amongst the 15-34 age group.
- Education on sun awareness.
- Sun-smart campaigns.
- Research on genetic predisposition to melanoma.
Early detection Education programmes.
- Research looking at why particular patients present late, and causes for delays in diagnosis.
Treatment of melanoma
- Better surgical approach.
- Better investigations
Prevention of Recurrence
- Studies of adjuvant therapy (eg interferon, Avastin, radiotherapy) to prevent recurrence.
- Studies of genetic factors (inherited) and environmental factors (e.g. diet – Vitamin D)
- Influencing risk of relapse
Treatment of advanced disease
- Identification of new, effective treatments.
- Developing treatments specifically tailored to individual patients.
You will see that research covers a broad spectrum of clinical situations. The sad fact remains that at present, 1 in 5 patients who get melanoma will die of their cancer. Our current treatments for melanoma that has relapsed and spread are poor. For this reason, we are focussing on developing effective new treatments for patients with melanoma.
We are supporting a number of exciting projects, which we hope will improve the outcome for patients with melanoma. Much of the work that we carry out is supported by generous and selfless donations from patients, their families and friends, and from members of the public. All of these are vital to our success, and we are very grateful for these.
We need to learn to prevent melanoma developing in the first instance, prevent it recurring once it has been removed, and treat it effectively if it does recur.