SEATTLE, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Every hour of every day, someone dies of melanoma in the United States, making this disease one of the fastest growing cancers in the U.S. and worldwide. Since 1975, the incidence rate of new melanomas has more than doubled-striking people of all ages, all races, all economic levels and both sexes. Currently, there are more new cases of melanoma than HIV/AIDS. The good news is that when melanoma is found early there is an excellent chance of recovery. Katie Bunker is vivid testimony to that fact. Three years ago, at the age of 13, Katie was diagnosed with node-positive melanoma. She had several lymph nodes removed and was treated for a year with interferon. Today Katie is a healthy 16-year-old, but she has her skin checked every 6 months and she is very aware that she will live with the risk of melanoma for the rest of her life-or until a cure is found. On Friday, November 2, 2007, Katie will co-chair the Northwest Melanoma Symposium: From Science to Survivorship, the first educational symposium for melanoma patients, family members and healthcare providers offered in the Northwest. Presented by the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) in partnership with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), the symposium will take place in the Pelton Auditorium of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, on South Lake Union in Seattle. The MRF is a national nonprofit organization focused on melanoma research, education and advocacy. The SCCA is an alliance of the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC). Coordinated and co-chaired by Dr. David Byrd, Professor of Surgery, UWMC, and Co-Director of the SCCA Melanoma Clinic, the symposium will feature Dr. John P. Fruehauf, Department of Medicine, UC Irvine, speaking on the Future Directions of Melanoma Research and Treatment. The Science part of the program will also include Dr. Byrd (When Lightning Strikes Twice: Dealing with Recurrence) and Dr. Zsolt Argenyi of the UWMC (Beyond the ABCD's: Melanoma Screening). The Survivorship part of the program will open with Dr. Karen Syrala of the FHCRC (Surviving and Thriving After Melanoma) and Fran Lewis PhD RN of the UWMC (When Mom or Dad Have Melanoma: Helping the Child Manage). It will continue with Andrea Leiserowitz, MPT (Rehabilitation Issues for Melanoma Survivors), Sarah Washburn, MS RD CD (Nutritional Health in Cancer Survivorship), both of the SCCA, and Dr. Dan Labriola ND (Natural Medicine, Melanoma and Survivorship) of the Northwest Natural Health Specialty Care Clinic. The final session of the day will be delivered by the Reverend Debra Jarvis, SCCA General Oncology Outpatient Chaplain and NPR correspondent (It's Not About the Hair-or the Sun). Registration starts at 7:30 am and presentations begin at 8:00 am. Lunch will be provided, and a reception will follow the conclusion of the program at 3:30. There is no charge for the symposium, but pre-registration is required. The Melanoma Research Foundation was founded in 1996 by Diana Ashby, a melanoma patient, who lost her battle to the disease one year later. Today the organization has become the leading advocate for melanoma research and education and is the primary underwriter for the Society of Melanoma Research, an international organization of melanoma scientists. In 2006, the MRF raised over $1.8 million dollars which is currently being used to fund 14 research grants, host scientific forums, raise community awareness and provide educational resources for patients, family members and health care providers around the country. The Northwest symposium is made possible with an educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals. To register for the Northwest Melanoma Symposium, visit MRF's website at www.melanoma.org or call 1.800.673.1290.
SOURCE Melanoma Research Foundation