2015 - 2017 Ettelson Fund Recipient

 Alla Yarmosh - Identifying Obstacles and Barriers to Melanoma Diagnosis and Treatment

Alla Yarmosh
The Ettelson Award is given each year, with an opportunity of up to two years of funding to an individual with exceptional potential to contribute to better skin health through research.

The 2015 Ettelson Award for Dermatologic Research at OHSU has been awarded to Alla Yarmosh, a medical student at OHSU (currently working on a Masters in Clinical Research) focusing on obstacles or barriers that patients in Oregon face when being diagnosed and treated for melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest of the three main skin cancers, and early detection of melanoma can be lifesaving. The long term goal for this project is to not only pinpoint the hurdles patients overcome, but use that information to develop a statewide educational campaign to help prevent those obstacles from occurring in the future. 

The incidence of melanoma has been increasing nationally; melanoma is currently the 5th leading cancer in males and 7th in females in the united states for incidence. According to the United States Cancer Statistics provided through the Center for Disease Control from 2008-2012 Oregon had an elevated incidence and mortality rate compared to the rest of the United States. For men, Oregon was 9th in incidence and 10th in mortality. For women, Oregon was 3rd for incidence and 1st for mortality. Since Oregon is not known to be a particularly sunny state, this raises the question as to why it has high incidence and mortality, especially for women compared to the rest of the country. 

How can we fix it? Alla envisions overcoming obstacles to early detection that will allow Oregonians to be diagnosed early, at the most treatable stage.