The Skin Cancer Foundation

Editor in chief: Najaam Lee
Contributing Location Writer: Mitchell Acks
Photo credit:  Courtesy of the Skin Cancer Foundation/ Getty Image

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Hundreds of beautiful guests filled the luxurious Mandarin Oriental in New York on October 18th, 2016 to celebrate and honour the many who make The Skin Cancer Foundation a success! From physicians, health and beauty executives, journalists and celebrities joined to raise funds, awareness and celebrate lifesaving initiatives. Hosting the evening’s gala was weather-anchorman and longtime Skin Cancer Foundation supporter, Sam Champion.

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The event honoured “Champions” for their exceptional achievement in skin health, including public education about sun protection and skin cancer prevention. This year, two (2) Champions For Change were honoured:

Dr. Perry Robins, MD, founder and president of The Skin Cancer Foundation.  He made a very special surprise which shook the audience, announcing his retirement as president of the Foundation at the end of this year, and he named Skin Cancer Foundation -Senior Vice President, Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD as his successor.

The next honouree for the Champions of Change went to Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf, Chair – Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award Society.

The 2016 Skin Cancer Foundation Media Award honoured excellence in skin cancer-related editorial coverage that furthers the Foundation’s mission. The five finalists were recognized during the evening’s program, then the winner was announced.

The winner of the annual Media Award competition was given to Allure magazine, for their article, “Harsh Light” by Jenna Rosenstein. The Media Award recognizes excellence in journalism that addresses skin cancer prevention, early detection, and/or treatment.

Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Catherine Russell provided the evening’s entertainment. Catherine Russell is a contemporary jazz and blues artist. She performed as a backup singer and multi-instrumentalist with artists including Steely Dan, Levon Helm, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Carrie Smith, and Rosanne Cash.

Olympic gold medalist and television host Summer Sanders as well as Witney Carson (Dancing with the Stars) shared their personal experiences with melanoma. Witney felt incredibly lucky that the Skin Cancer Foundation provided a support system that showed her she wasn’t alone.

Notable guests attending included David Harbour of Stranger Things, Famke Janssen of the X-Men series, Sebastian Stan of Marvel’s Captain America movies,Condola Rashad of Billions and Tony Sirico, formerly of The Sopranos.

The event was a brilliant success, but we know more work needs to be done. The annual cost for treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion; about $4.8 billion for Non-Melanoma skin cancer and $3.3 billion for Melanoma cancer.

Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. It is quite alarming that each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined cases of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon and over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. We need to do more since one(1) in five(5) Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
The facts about melanoma are so disturbing that if not caught in time especially after 5 years, a person dies of melanoma every 52 minutes. While melanoma accounts for less than one percent of skin cancer cases, but is the vast majority of skin cancer deaths.

More about Skin Cancer Foundation can be found at their website: www.skincancer.org

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Najaam Lee Art and Healing

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