“Relative to other cancers, cases involving melanoma have increased dramatically,” reports Dr. Jerry M. Foster. A Tennessee board certified doctor in both internal medicine and oncology, Dr. Foster says this increase in the cases of melanoma has been steady for the last thirty years. Dr. Jerry M. Foster says they are several risk factors related to melanoma.
“There are a number of risk factors leading the development of any form of melanoma,” notes Dr. Jerry M. Foster. One such risk factor is a pre-existing mole. “If there are appear to be changes in a pre-existing mole, then one should seek medical analysis,” cautions Dr. Foster. Along with this, Dr. Jerry M. Foster says that family history can be a risk factor. “Then there are fair skinned individuals, those with a fair complexion, or those with a history of severe sunburn,” adds Dr. Jerry M. Foster. Another risk fact is dysphasic nevi and large number of nevi. “And in many cases a history of non-melanoma skin cancer is a risk factor,” adds Dr. Foster.
“As far as treatment, there are some new avenues being explored,” states Dr. Jerry M. Foster. Accordingly, advanced melanoma is only marginally responsive to chemotherapy, he adds. “That’s why,” says Dr. Jerry M. Foster, “prevention if possible and early detection is important.” According to Dr. Jerry M. Foster, sunscreen that protects and periodic examinations of pre-existing moles are vital. “If a person will just put a few preventive measures in place, they may very well be saving their own lives,” states Dr. Jerry M. Foster.
In an otherwise resistant disease, there are advancements being made, says Dr. Jerry M. Foster. “On the one hand we have positive steps for treatment in the areas of monoclonal antibody,” he explains. As well, adds Dr. Foster, there are major strides in the gene mutation therapy. According to Dr. Jerry M. Foster, research and testing continues on in hopes of finding a more effect treatment then the current regiment. “I think there is a lot of positive, good news out there,” concludes Dr. Jerry M. Foster.
Dr. Jerry M. Foster is a 1971 graduate of North Carolina State University. Completing his doctoral program through Duke University and Vanderbilt University, Dr. Jerry M. Foster attended the London University School of Medicine. Dr. Jerry M. Foster lives and works in Franklin, Tennessee where he resides with his wife and children.