Mollie Biggane was a wholesome, energetic 20-year-old who performed soccer and tennis whereas rising up in Backyard Metropolis. She had no concept the bizarre mole behind her leg would develop into a lethal type of pores and skin most cancers generally known as melanoma.

By the point she was recognized, the most cancers had progressed. Six months of remedies and surgical procedures weren’t capable of cease it.

Since her loss of life in 2000, Mollie’s household has centered on bringing consciousness to pores and skin most cancers within the hopes of sparing one other household from the grief they went by way of.

Their newest efforts with the nonprofit Mollie’s Fund is a brand new initiative that may assist display screen all sufferers that enter Stony Brook College Hospital for pores and skin most cancers.


  • The household of Mollie Biggane, a 20-year-old Backyard Metropolis girl who died from melanoma in 2000, has spent greater than 20 years educating folks in regards to the risks of pores and skin most cancers with the nonprofit Mollie’s Fund.
  • The nonprofit’s newest initiative is a program to display screen all sufferers getting into Stony Brook College Hospital for pores and skin most cancers.
  • Pores and skin most cancers is the most typical kind of most cancers in the USA. Early detection can result in profitable therapy of the illness.

Incidences of pores and skin most cancers have reached “epidemic proportions,” stated Victoria Siegel, a registered nurse who sits on the medical advisory board of Mollie’s Fund.

Siegel, a professor of nursing at Molloy College, has helped develop the screening protocols that may now be employed at Stony Brook and has been applied at different Lengthy Island hospitals.

“Nurses are so concerned in instructing folks about wholesome behaviors, reminiscent of correct vitamin and security for kids,” stated Siegel. “It is a likelihood to show them about solar protected behaviors, checking their pores and skin and going to a physician in the event that they assume one thing’s mistaken with their pores and skin.”

Years of publicity to ultraviolet rays from the solar, tanning beds or sunlamps can result in pores and skin most cancers, in accordance with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Estimates quoted by the American Academy of Dermatology present about 9,500 folks within the U.S. are recognized with pores and skin most cancers each day.

“Pores and skin most cancers accounts for extra most cancers than all of the cancers mixed,” stated Mollie’s mom, Maggie Biggane. “Anybody who has pores and skin can get it and to a big extent, it is preventable.”

Melanoma, essentially the most severe type of pores and skin most cancers, can unfold to the lymph nodes and inside organs. It’s extremely treatable when detected early, in accordance with the American Academy of Dermatology.

“Younger folks by no means assume it will occur to them,” stated Maggie Biggane, who created the nonprofit with Mollie’s father, Jack, and their youngsters, Cara, Julie and Jack

Screenings might result in referrals

Biggane stated consciousness of pores and skin most cancers has vastly improved since Mollie first seen the bizarre mole on the again of her leg.

“It had all of the hallmarks (of pores and skin most cancers),” Biggane stated. “It was bleeding. Now we all know that’s a warning signal.”

Together with her reddish-blond hair and truthful pores and skin, Mollie wasn’t a sun-worshipper, her mother stated. However the energetic younger girl was captain of her tennis group and performed journey soccer.

“Did we use sunscreen? Sure. Have been we vigilant about it? Most likely not,” stated Biggane. “We had an umbrella however that doesn’t evaluate to the SPF clothes mother and father are placing on their youngsters as we speak.”

Mollie’s Fund works on instructional applications, public service bulletins and different efforts to remind folks be conscious of solar publicity and at all times put on sunscreen.

The hospital initiative is a “pure extension” of the screenings that nurses do for all new sufferers, stated Carolyn Santora, chief nursing officer at Stony Brook College Hospital.

“Presently when sufferers are admitted to the hospital, nurses do a full pores and skin evaluation,” stated Santora.

“We’re on the lookout for strain ulcers, bruises, rashes and different pores and skin situations. A pure extension of that pores and skin evaluation is to look at for moles and speak to the sufferers about their historical past, whether or not or not they use sunscreen, how a lot solar publicity they’ve had over time, and whether or not or not they use sunscreen. Danger of pores and skin most cancers will increase with the quantity of unprotected solar publicity over time.”

Santora stated nurses may also use the chance to clarify to sufferers the significance of defending themselves from the solar’s rays.

If the nurses see an uncommon mole or pores and skin lesion or if the affected person relates a priority, they are often referred to a dermatologist for additional examination and doable therapy.

Siegel stated folks ought to be conscious of the solar however not really feel like they cannot go outdoors.

“Be good about it,” she stated. “Cowl your pores and skin with clothes. Put on a large 4 inch brim hat, put on sunscreen and by no means go tanning.”

Lisa joined Newsday as a workers author in 2019. She beforehand labored at amNewYork, the New York Each day Information and the Asbury Park Press protecting politics, authorities and common project.

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