May 30th War on Skin event - A smashing success!

War on Melanoma TableOn May 30, 2015, over 800 people attended our War on Skin Cancer event. It featured a skin cancer research expo, skin checks provided by OHSU and community dermatologists, a community walk to raise awareness and funds for research, sun safety education and even live music! Before the event even officially started, the atmosphere was abuzz with attendees eager to participate in and learn about skin cancer research.

Thanks to your combined efforts, in only five hours our researchers collected hundreds of surveys and blood samples that would normally take many months to obtain; our dermatologists provided 250 skin checks for community members that some may not have otherwise received; and over 125 new people joined the Melanoma Community Registry. Your enthusiasm to help learn about and participate in ongoing skin cancer research is truly inspiring. If you weren't able to attend the event, here's a quick recap.

There were a number of skin cancer research projects represented ranging from antibody markers, to chemo-prevention studies to new imaging modalities. Attendees could see first-hand and offer feedback on the Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging device and a Mole Mapper phone application, both still in the development stage. Click here for a short description of all the research.

Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging
Tracy Petrie demonstrates Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging which is a technique that doesn't use harmful radiation, but is able to see "into" tissue such as skin.
Sun Safety Education
Our sun safety education volunteers were hard at work providing attendees with free samples of sunscreen and explaining sun safety practices. 

OHSU and community dermatologists were kept just as busy as the scientific researchers. They conducted skin checks for 50 people each hour! They found that some people required additional follow up, hopefully to rule out a serious issue but if not, to potentially detect it early. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our dermatologists and volunteers who generously donated time to be a part of this momentous event.  

Mascots for the Cure posing with some of our volunteers. During the event, they stamped event attendees passports that could later be turned in for the chance to win prizes.

Dr. Sancy Leachman poses with members of the Oregon National Guard in front of the War on Melanoma research poster.

But it was not all about medicine. There were plenty of fun filled activities for the whole family. Mascots for the Cure provided a lively and fun atmosphere in the morning and by the afternoon more than 300 people registered for the 2015 Northwest Melanoma Walk raising awareness, funds, and honoring people who have faced melanoma. The National Guard enriched our effort to “wage a war” against a formidable enemy and brought their community spirit and their Humvees! Last but not least, the RedHead Event entertained us all with live music.

We were so grateful that so many of you could attend our War on Skin Cancer event. It's absolutely amazing what can be accomplished when so many passionate, hardworking, and motivated people come together to make a difference.

Thank you!