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UCI CLINICAL CANCER CENTER DIRECTOR APPEARS AT NIH CONSENSUS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE ON SKIN CANCER

 UCI CLINICAL CANCER CENTER DIRECTOR APPEARS AT
 NIH CONSENSUS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE ON SKIN CANCER
 ORANGE, Calif., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Frank Meyskens Jr., director of the UCI Clinical Cancer Center and a leading skin cancer authority, participated in panel discussions on early skin cancer with Dr. DuPont Guerry of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, during the Consensus Development Conference on Diagnosis and Treatment of Early Melanoma. The three-day conference, held Jan. 27-28 in Bethesda, Md., was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research.
 In 1992, 32,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States are expected to be diagnosed; 6,700 of which will be fatal. The last 50 years has seen a significant increased in this most virulent form of skin cancer. Skin cancer will affect more than 600,000 Americans this year. An improved cure rate is possible through increased surveillance, early detection and intervention and public awareness.
 Meyskens and Guerry spoke on "Evaluation of the Patient with Early Melanoma" before 250 international specialists on dermatology, pathology, cancer, epidemiology and public education.
 During the conference, an independent panel was asked to weight the scientific evidence presented and write a draft statement on the clinical and histological characteristics of early melanoma, management of diagnosed patients, follow-up treatments to the patient and family members and future research directions.
 On the final day, the panel concluded that melanoma is extremely curable when diagnosed and treated early. Removal of early melanoma and a small perimeter of surrounding skin can cure the vast majority of early detected cases, the panel said. Since treatment of late melanoma is often useless, successful early detection is the key to reducing the mortality rate.
 Stressing that properly performed biopsy is critical in diagnosing melanoma, the panel recommended against the procedure of removing lymph nodes close to the diseased site. The panel also suggested education campaigns and screenings, similar to those that have helped reduce heart disease and stroke, to decrease melanoma deaths.
 The UCI Melanoma Center and Clinical Cancer Center provide free skin cancer screening several times a year. The next scheduled screening will be held April 25 during Celebrate UCI's annual Wayzgoose (cq) Health Fair at the UCI campus, Irvine, Calif. For further information, call 800-338-5560.
 -0- 1/30/92
 /CONTACT: Leslie Ann Cyril of UCI Clinical Cancer Center, 714-634-5989/ CO: UCI Medical Center ST: California IN: MTC SU:


EH-TM -- LA025 -- 5399 01/30/92 15:56 EST
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