One Woman’s War on Melanoma


PORTLAND, Ore. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — She purposely likens her fight against melanoma as a war. This Oregon researcher and physician wants to enlist the support of millions of ‘allies’ as she attacks the deadly cancer. And she already has international backing.

Dermatologist Sancy Leachman has seen too many people die not to try and stop the onslaught of melanoma cases.

Dr. Leachman explained, “I’m trying to do something about this traumatic thing that can happen before it happens, even if they don’t, they should be worried. I know they should be worried and we have to get to them as soon as possible.”

Meaning before melanoma hits. So in March of 2014, Dr. Leachman began a national registry of survivors, friends and family members to speed research as well as awareness.

Marcia Walsh, a War on Melanoma volunteer told Ivanhoe, “My daughter, when she was 25, was diagnosed with melanoma. So that was a traumatic experience.”

But three years later, Walsh spotted it again on her daughter’s leg.

Walsh said “And I asked her ‘Ashton, how could you have not done something about this?’ ‘Why would I think I have melanoma? I’m only 25 years old.”

That’s the kind of misconception targeted by the War on Melanoma, which now has volunteers in 36 states and at least seven countries.

“The thing about melanoma is that it is one of the most aggressive cancers on the planet.” Dr. Leachman stated.

As determined as any one woman can be, Dr. Leachman takes this war, and its victims, very seriously.

Dr. Leachman shared, “Especially the young women who have kids, it’s really hard. But there’s a way to prevent that from happening. We can do it together, for sure.”

By the way, redheads are far more vulnerable to melanoma than blonde or dark-haired women and men.

Contributors to this news report include: John Hammarley, Producer; Jeff Haney, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

To receive a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe, sign up at: