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Standing Strong In No-Man’s Land

Popular Tennis Pro Using Competitive Streak To Battle Melanoma

LindsayAmesIn the fall of last year, popular tennis pro and native islander Lindsay Ames found a couple of lumps in her thigh that in her words, “felt like frozen peas.” A PET scan later revealed several other lumps on the same side of her body, insidious signs that the melanoma she fought in 2009 had spread to the lower half of her body.

The unfathomable diagnosis: Stage IV Metastatic Malignant Melanoma. The good news: They caught it early. The cancer- ous cells didn’t collect in any of her organs.

But at 42 years old, Ames geared up for the match of her life
— beating a fast-footed, wily opponent who doesn’t give a damn. Equipped with the mental and physical stamina netted from years of playing competitive tennis, her new target became to crush mela- noma and to make other people aware.

Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, starts in the melanocytes, the cells that produce skin pigment. Only 2 to 5 percent of skin can- cers are melanomas, according the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Five years ago, a dermatologist first diagnosed Ames with Stage II of the disease after biopsying a black mole on her back. Typical fea- tures of skin tumors may include irregular borders, black or multiple colors, rapid growth and susceptibility to bleeding. (more…)

Reducing Kids’ Sun Exposure Lowers Skin Cancer Risk Later in Life

With the warm weather and long days of summer finally here, people are spending more time outdoors. While many people are aware of the need to protect themselves from the sun, reducing children’s exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is especially important. In fact, teaching kids to be sun-safe now can benefit them for the rest of their lives.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood sunburns are a risk factor for skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation, a non-profit devoted to skin cancer education and prevention, offers a stark warning: suffering one or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing potentially-deadly melanoma later in life. (more…)