Kiwanian Stacey Friday spoke to the Kiwanis club, Monday, March 9th. Her topic was cancer and cancer research which is a topic that she is very passionate about. In 2010 her mom and dad both died of cancer and her sister died of cancer a few years later. Stacey herself has cancer (tumor seeded at base of brain) but she has been NED (no evidence of disease) for 8 years. She, her sister and her dad all had melanoma. Her Dad was part of a clinical trial at MD Anderson but it did not work for him.
She believes in clinical trials because they are saving lives. Another treatment for melanoma is immunotherapy. Stacey takes a medication that targets the BRAF gene that she has. The medication costs $9000 per month. Through genetic testing targeted therapy is available for specific genes. She is concerned about her children and their heredity for melanoma. Genetic testing is also available to see if you have the gene that could lead to melanoma.
Stacey said know your doctors, don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion. Be aware and proactive about your health. She reads and studies about melanoma every day to see about new things that are available and what is coming. There are options today when there used to be no options.
Because Winnfield is no longer a city we do not qualify for Relay for Life. However there is a fund raiser that can be participated in called Stand Up to Cancer, which is a fundraiser for cancer research. Stacey said the American Cancer Society is very helpful with transportation, lodging and money for other expenses.
Stacey’s advice is to stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds. Those are the main culprits in melanoma.
*Article provided and written by Kiwanis Club