Melanoma - Exposures, Life after Diagnosis (MELD) Study
Over 5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, more than all other cancers combined. Most of these cases are caused by excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources such as indoor tanning. Melanoma, one of the more deadly skin cancers, is on the rise, constituting approximately 87,000 of the annual skin cancer cases. The survival prognosis is often good. Out of 100 people diagnosed with melanoma, on average 92 will survive for at least 5 years.
Previous research suggests that while some melanoma survivors change how much time they spend in the sun and adopt ways to protect themselves when in the sun, many survivors do not. In our previous study, we found that 20% of melanoma survivors reported a sunburn in the past year and 10% intentionally went outside for a tan, both strong indicators of inappropriate sun exposure. Melanoma survivors are at high risk of second melanomas, making it critical that they spend less time in the sun and take actions to protect themselves when they are in the sun.
The MELD (Melanoma – Exposures, Life after Diagnosis) study extends this work by testing the effectiveness of an intervention to promote healthy behaviors in melanoma survivors. This study is funded by the Melanoma Research Alliance through The Wayne Stinchcomb Big Orange Foundation-MRA Young Investigator Award.