With summer comes a heightened awareness of skin cancer. Applying sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding tanning beds are all important precautions you can take against the disease. Melanoma is the most serious and life-threatening type of skin cancer. It is almost always treatable when caught early, but if it metastasizes, or spreads to other parts of the body, it becomes difficult to treat.
At the recent ASCO meeting, the world’s largest clinical cancer research meeting, researchers reported encouraging news from The New England Journal of Medicine for people with metastatic melanoma who also have the BRAF genetic mutation. This data underscores how important it is that patients with stage III and stage IV melanoma talk to their doctor about getting tested for their BRAF mutation. Knowing their BRAF status is a key piece of information when evaluating all available treatment options.