Inova Melanoma Symposium Offers Resources and Hope

Sekwon Jang, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. He is a member of the Inova Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center, and specializes in the treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers.


We’ve just wrapped up Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, and the members of the Inova Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center were involved in a variety of activities to educate the public about the importance of screening and sun protection. One highlight of the month was our Melanoma and Skin Cancer Symposium, held May 5.

This was our second such symposium, following a successful inaugural event in 2016. Some 60 people attended the free half-day symposium, hosted by the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, Inova Life with Cancer and the Inova Health Foundation.

Most of the attendees are currently being treated for skin cancer, but anyone from the community was welcome to join us to learn the latest about melanoma treatment and prevention.

Advances in Skin Cancer

In the Information Age, people are flooded with information about melanoma. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell what information is reliable. We created this symposium to give patients and community members the facts about melanoma.

The first half of the event highlighted recommendations for melanoma screening and prevention, including information about sun protection and skin self-exams. The second half highlighted the latest in melanoma treatments.

Presenters described current surgical techniques, new therapies and the importance of lifestyle factors such as diet and nutrition. The program also discussed the various support services offered by Life with Cancer, which provides free programs and counseling for anyone living with cancer.

We also included opportunities for attendees to ask us questions. That exchange of information gave patients the answers they needed, while helping my colleagues and I better understand what our patients want to know – and how we can direct them to the right resources.

The feedback from participants was really positive. One attendee said she was diagnosed with melanoma several years ago, but that this was the first time she felt she had a truly comprehensive understanding of the disease.

Teaming Up Against Melanoma

When it comes to melanoma diagnosis and management, we take a true team approach. In fact, we host weekly new patient clinics, where newly diagnosed patients meet with a dermatologist, a surgeon and a medical oncologist all at the same time. This team-based approach means patients don’t have to make multiple appointments in multiple locations to get the care they need. And it ensures our providers are all on the same page, working together to develop the right treatment plan for each unique patient.

We also have a strong research program at Inova, with active clinical trials offering new hope for patients with advanced melanoma. For more information, view our current skin cancer clinical trials or learn more about the services and providers at the Inova Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center.

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