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Melanoma Organization Launches Digital Resources
Date:5/1/2009

Melanoma Research Foundation leverages online tools to reach consumers during Melanoma Awareness Month

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J., May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of Melanoma Awareness Month this May, the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is launching three new resources to reach the online community. Now digital users can learn more about melanoma and access tools to fight this deadly disease through Facebook, Twitter and the MRF Melanoma Messengers programs.

"Melanoma Awareness Month exists because this disease is not sufficiently in the public's mind. If we are going to stop melanoma, we need to extend our reach to include young people, who have the fastest rising incidence rates." said Tim Turnham, executive director of the MRF. "We are really excited about the potential of these online programs to reach Americans where they live, work and play."

Created as a grassroots, volunteer program, the MRF Melanoma Messengers toolkit will enable individuals to join a national network dedicated to supporting medical research, educating patients and physicians, and acting as an advocate for the melanoma community. The additional social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, will enable volunteers to stay connected, share tips and offer support to others.

"Our Facebook, Twitter and MRF Melanoma Messengers programs give people the tools and resources they need to raise awareness in their local and online communities," continued Turnham. "Whether you are a fan, a tweeter or a volunteer, it's now easier than ever before to show your support for those affected by this deadly disease."

"This month, the MRF's Messengers will be involved in nearly 30 different fundraising events and activities across the country to raise money to find a cure, including our first 'Melanoma Tweetments' fundraiser," said C. Randy Lomax, chairman of the MRF's board of directors. "Individual Twitter users can make a difference by sending tweets about melanoma to their followers and donating a few dollars to fund melanoma research."

Melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, claims the life of approximately one American every hour and is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide. It strikes men and women of all ages, all races and all skin types. In its early stages, melanoma can be successfully removed and monitored by regular skin screenings. However, the disease is deadly in its most advanced stages, as few treatment options exist. The median life expectancy for patients with advanced melanoma is less than one year and existing therapies have not improved survival in more than a decade.

The Melanoma Research Foundation invites you to join its online community at:

About the MRF's Social Media Resources

Social media users can stay up-to-date on what's going on at the MRF and in the melanoma community by following @curemelanoma on Twitter and becoming a fan of the Melanoma Research Foundation and inviting friends to support the cause on Facebook. To learn more about becoming involved with the MRF Melanoma Messengers program, visit www.melanoma.org.

About Melanoma

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States, and can strike people of all ages, all races and both sexes. In fact, with a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, more than 62,000 Americans were expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2008, resulting in an estimated 8,400 deaths. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old.

About Melanoma Research Foundation

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF's Web site is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available online at www.melanoma.org.


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SOURCE Melanoma Research Foundation
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