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10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Melanoma

Sure, you’ve heard about melanoma and you have a basic idea of what it is – skin cancer. But there are a variety of untold truths and myths about melanoma. Many women think that if you slather on sunscreen before heading outside that they’re covered, but unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily the truth. It is important to know the ins and outs of this disease so you can find ways to prevent melanoma as well as understand the symptoms to possibly catch an early onset of it.

Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults

Young adults often think they’re immune to disease or illness, but actually, they can be at high risk. Experts attribute the increased risk to the use of tanning beds, citing melanoma as the most common cancer for people 25 to 29.

You can get it even if you have dark skin

We tend to think that fair-skinned people are the ones who get melanoma, but it can happen to anyone. Melanoma is rare in people with dark skin tones, but when it does happen, it is most commonly found on lighter areas like the palms or soles of the feet. Regardless of skin color, the sun’s rays can damage your skin and sunscreen is an important protector. A recent study also showed that using sunscreen on a daily basis can decrease the signs of premature aging and dark spots, so it’s worth daily application.

It may not come from an existing mole

You can have dozens of moles on your body and never get melanoma, or you could have one “bad mole” that becomes skin cancer. The important thing is to keep an eye on the moles you know you have and look for new ones. Look for changes in color, size, shape, or hair pattern. Paying close attention to this can help with early detection.

It may not come from a mole at all

Melanoma can look like a small bruise that doesn’t heal and can appear under a toe nail or finger nail, too. It is important to visit the dermatologist with no finger nail or toe paint so he or she can see your full body. Pay attention to anything that seems off and see a doctor if you’re even the slightest bit concerned.

It’s not all from sun exposure

Look in the hidden places that don’t get sun exposure, too. Check in between your toes, on your butt, underarms and thighs. Use a mirror to check spots that are hard to see. See a dermatologist regularly so that if you miss something, your doctor can see it before it gets worse.

It’s popular in older adults, too

Baby Boomers soaked up plenty of sun, usually without enough sunscreen, and sometimes with a layer of baby oil. Skin cancers aren’t forgiving of your past mistakes. If you know you got too much dangerous sun in your younger years, share that information with your doctor and make sure you pay close attention to your skin now.

It’s the deadliest form

Surprising, right? Other types of skin cancers are more common, but they have higher survival rates. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that one American dies from melanoma every hour.

It’s very treatable if you catch it early

According to the AAD, the five year survival rate of people whose disease is detected before stage III is 98%. Reports indicate, however, that we may be seeing higher numbers of diagnosed individuals because doctors can now recognize stage 0 melanoma, where visible changes to the skin may be cancer that has not yet developed.

Staying out of the sun doesn’t mean you won’t get it

Having a family history of melanoma can make you more prone to the disease than the rest of the population. Having a first degree relative, like a parent or sibling, with melanoma may increase your risk by 10 to 15%, studies show. So dig into your family history, if you can, and share that information with your doctor.

 re-posted from womensforum.com

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Burick Center Staff MemberTracy Koval

Office Manager

Tracy joined the Burick Center for Health & Wellness in June of 2016 to help patients by managing various aspects of the office. Tracy brings more than three decades of medical office experience as the former office manager of a multi-specialty group and also works on a part-time basis as a Patient Service Rep at a local urgent care center.

Tracy’s favorite part of working in a medical practice is the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life by helping them navigate through the maze of health care. She loves being part of the dynamic team at the Burick Center.

Tracy likes to spend time with her family. She has two sons, Mason, who is living and working in Philadelphia as a Sr. Analyst for a marketing firm, and Spencer, who works at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

Burick Center Staff MemberTom Baker

Strategy Officer

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Burick Center Staff MemberRena Geesaman

Patient Coordinator

Rena Geesaman is a Registered Medical Assistant who enjoys providing attentive and caring client service. She is very happy to be part of the Burick Center team where patient care is our number one focus.

Her goal is to do everything within her power to ensure every interaction leaves you feeling well cared for and perhaps even delighted.

Rena volunteers by serving as board treasurer for Carlisle Christian Academy. She also helps facilitate a program at River of God Church for single, pregnant girls which provides practical, emotional and spiritual support.

Outside of the office Rena enjoys hiking, traveling, tending to her flower beds, hosting meals on their back deck, enjoying time with dear friends, loving on her little dogs, and best of all spending time with family. Being fairly new grandparents, she and her husband Don are always happy to share pictures of their little grandson, Lucas. Feel free to ask! She considers herself amazingly blessed!

Burick Center Staff MemberDr. Peter Lu


Dr. Peter Lu trained and worked in New York City for 15 years and recently moved to central PA. He studied pre-med at Brooklyn College and attended medical school at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn. Thereafter he worked in the inner city hospitals of New York City, and lastly had the honor of caring for people with his sister in Stamford, Connecticut.

Dr. Lu greatly appreciates open lines of communication as it pertains to questions you may have about your ailment and how acupuncture could help in the healing process. His intention to address your needs to the best of his ability.

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Burick Center Staff MemberLee Morand

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Lee has had the sincere pleasure of working in the Greater Harrisburg area for over 20 years. She relocated to Harrisburg in 1990 after completing her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Pre-Med at Cornell University. Lee received her first Master’s Degree from Shippensburg University. Her second Master’s Degree, as well as Doctorate, were both from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She uses a Cognitive-Behavioral approach to guide her work with clients across the lifespan. She strongly believes research has shown that changing your thoughts does change your life. Her primary focus with clients is to reduce symptoms by assisting clients to achieve skills they can utilize in their professional, academic, and personal lives.

Burick Center Staff MemberHeather Motter

LMT, Massage Therapist and Back Desk Coordinator

Heather Motter joined the Burick Center team in 2018. A graduate of YTI Career Institute, Heather prides herself on using her highly developed skills to maintain the balance between mind and body. As a licensed massage therapist, she specializes in Medical Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, Trigger Point Therapy, and Oncology Massage.

Heather has a vast amount of experience working with a variety of patients. From a simple relaxation massage to a patient dealing with chronic pain, Heather is able to facilitate treatments uniquely designed for each patient’s individual needs.

Heather insists that massage is not just a relaxation luxury. Instead, her philosophy is that massage helps lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle. She encourages everyone to take the time to meet with her to develop a care plan to enhance their overall wellness.

Heather is a resident of Carlisle, where she resides with her fiancé, two sons, and four dogs. When she’s not at work, she can be found outside working on her back yard oasis, or volunteering at Speranza Animal Rescue.

Burick Center Staff MemberFelicia Miller


Felicia Miller is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist who provides nutritional counseling and education to patients of the Burick Center for Health & Wellness.

She takes the science of nutrition with her extensive knowledge of food and coaching skills to create an easy-to-follow actionable plan for her clients to follow.

Recognizing that there are multiple components to creating a successful wellness plan, she looks at the whole person – their concerns, lifestyle, personality, family, and career. Listening to her patients allows for Felicia to find the root cause of their issue and not simply the symptoms.

“Being healthy goes beyond diet, food is just one of the pillars of a happy, healthy person.” Felicia goes beyond the traditional diet education- she coaches and supports her patients as they learn how to make changes in their day-to-day life.

“I’m passionate about whole foods and healthy living I strive to inspire you to make positive food and lifestyle changes – at any age.”

Burick Center Staff MemberAshley Weibley

Registered Nurse

Ashley is a nurse at Burick Center for Health & Wellness. Her nursing philosophy is one of holistic care. She is a patient advocate committed to clear communication, education and applying critical thinking and decision-making skills to help patients achieve better outcomes. She enjoys providing the highest quality nursing care in a respectful, healing environment. She has a personal commitment to life-long learning through formal education and hands-on experience. She appreciates that compassion along with innovative care is what the Burick Center for Health & Wellness is all about.

Ashley has an Associate’s Degree from Harrisburg Area Community College and a Bachelors Degree from Penn State University.

She is married and has twin boys, She enjoys spending time with her friends, family and pets. She has owned and shown Quarter Horses all of her life and continues to compete in her spare time.