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Melanoma is a cancer like no other. It is an aggressive form of skin cancer that affects both the young and the old, although risks of developing increase with age.
How aggressive? While melanoma only comprises 5 percent of skin cancer cases, it is responsible for almost 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.
It is also a uniquely preventable form of cancer. With rare possible exceptions, melanoma is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, an invisible wavelength of light that has the potential to damage DNA.
If caught early, melanoma may be curable through surgery. Advanced melanoma, however, is notoriously difficult to treat and often becomes resistant to chemotherapy or drug therapy. At Wistar, we are looking for better ways to treat melanoma.
For decades, The Wistar Institute has been an international leader in melanoma research. Scientists at Wistar's Melanoma Research Center seek to understand the unique biology of melanoma in order to develop new therapies against the disease. We invite you to learn more about melanoma prevention, detection, and how you can help save lives through cancer research.
The microscope in the image belonged to William E. Horner, M.D., a collaborator with Caspar Wistar, M.D., in the early 1800s.
Dr. Horner, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, was a pioneer of the use of microscopes in anatomical and medical research. He authored Special Anatomy and Histology, a seminal text on the subject.