This year, we wanted to find new ways to engage with patients and other thought leaders during Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month®. Yesterday, we did just that by hosting a meeting with some of the best and brightest melanoma bloggers and patient advocates at our Philadelphia Navy Yard campus. We discussed the current landscape for the disease and how we can all make a difference.
Over the course of the afternoon, our guests heard from me and several of my GSK colleagues—including Faisal Mehmud, MD, head of US Oncology Medical Affairs, and Diane McDowell, MD, US Oncology Medical Affairs Lead for Melanoma—and we had the opportunity to listen to what was important to them.
What clearly came through was that those in the melanoma community want others to know how serious melanoma can be. That's partly why melanoma patients and thought leaders use the color black to represent the disease. Did you know that melanoma is one of the more common cancers in young adults—especially women? Or that approximately one in two patients worldwide with metastatic melanoma—that is, melanoma which has spread to other parts of the body—is expected to survive for a year after the diagnosis of metastatic disease? Melanoma is serious and can be deadly. And these patients use their voices through their blogs and social media channels to spread that message.
We were fortunate to have such a meaningful discussion with those on the front lines of the melanoma conversation, during a time when the approaching summer season brings skin care issues to the forefront.
In the short time we spent together, we covered a wide range of topics, including how a healthcare company like ours has a responsibility to support patients, how the use of genetic testing is changing the landscape of melanoma, and how to best use social media to encourage collaboration and spread awareness of the disease.
At GSK, we constantly challenge ourselves to better meet the expectations of society. Ultimately, the meeting gave us the opportunity to hear from the very patients, caregivers and advocates who deal with melanoma every day. It provided us with an important perspective so that we can always put patients first.
I’d like to thank the list of people below who joined us and helped make this event a success. When you get a chance, I’d encourage you to visit their blogs to see how they are shaping the conversation about the disease.
- Martha Bishop, ¡mela-no-mas!, @martha
- Jennifer and Steve Martin, Just Another Bump in the Road, @melanomawife
- Rich MacDonald, Welcome to Hotel Melanoma, @HotelMelanoma
- Donna Moncivaiz, Your Tan May be Killing You, @Moncie3
- TJ Sharpe, Patient #1, @TeamTJSharpe
- Timna Understein, Respect the Rays, @respecttherays
- Erin Youngerberg, Melanoma and the City, @erinmay0731
- Samantha Guild, AIM at Melanoma, @AIMatMelanoma
- Marissa Maybee, Melanoma Research Alliance, @MelanomaReAlli
- Lauren Smith Dyer and Shelby Moneer, Melanoma Research Foundation, @CureMelanoma
*Note: the opinions expressed in the links above are not those of GSK. GSK is not responsible for, and accepts no liability for, any information or opinions contained on these third-party sites.