The last week and a half has been a case of crazy ups and downs. First I did my first month's weigh-in and could not have been happier. In Month 1, I lost 16.6 lbs and 16.75 inches. Proving to myself that I can do this. It was such an awesome feeling.
Then I got the terrible news that my dear friend Holly was about to lose her hard fought battle with metastic melanoma. I'll forever be grateful that I was able to see her that one last time and tell her that I loved her.
Then? My birthday. So many wonderful birthday wishes but I wasn't exactly in the mood for celebrating.
Friday was a constant roller coaster. My weekly weigh in, some bad news at work and then Holly's Memorial. The good news, I lost another 4.2 lbs. I guess stress worked to my advantage this week. Work is just something I'll have to deal with.
Holly's Memorial was a true celebration of the wonderful person she was. I was honored to be asked to speak. We laughed, we cried, we felt a little closer to her.
One of the things that was asked of us was to share Holly's Hope. To "Keep it Alive - Inform 5". Well today, I'm informing.
Most Americans are unaware of the seriousness of melanoma.
If not caught early, melanoma is known to be the most deadly of all skin cancers.
Melanoma can be successfully removed and monitored by regular skin screenings in its early stages.
However, the disease is deadly in its most advanced stages as few melanoma treatment options exist.
The median lifespan for patients with advanced melanoma is less than one year.
The statistics around melanoma are astounding:
- One-in-50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma.
- In 2009 nearly 63,000 were diagnosed with melanoma in the United States, resulting in approximately 8,650 deaths.
- The projected numbers for 2010 were even higher with 68,130 diagnosis and 8,700 deaths.
This means that every eight minutes, someone in the United States will be given a melanoma diagnosis and that every hour someone will die from the disease.
Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide.
- The American Cancer Society estimates that the risk of developing invasive melanoma in the United States is 1 in 41 and 1 in 61 for men and women, respectfully.
- The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other demographic group, soaring by 50 percent in young women since 1980.
- Melanoma primarily affects individuals in the prime years of life and is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
- Although melanoma is most common in Caucasians, melanoma can strike men and women of all ages, all races and all skin types. The mean age for diagnosis of melanoma is 50, while for many other cancers it is 65-70 years old.
I'm hoping you'll take the time to find out more about melanoma and maybe you'll be moved to support research to end this horrible disease. If you are, you can donate to Holly's Fundraising Page for the Melanoma Research Foundation.