Understanding and coping with a new melanoma diagnosis, or melanoma recurrence, can be frightening and overwhelming.
AIM’s “Ask a Medical Expert” was created to help individuals understand their melanoma diagnosis, its implications, and how to approach and navigate their situation.
Melissa Wilson, PA-C, MPAS, leads AIM’s “Ask a Medical Expert” program and is AIM’s resident melanoma medical expert. Wilson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, and boundless enthusiasm for the industry – and her patients.
A natural trailblazer, Wilson is proud of her collaborative work as an NCCPA-certified physician assistant senior since 2005 with the distinguished melanoma specialist Dr. John Kirkwood at the University of Pittsburgh in the Cancer Institute Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine. Their treatment and research initiatives were so successful that they have been used as a template for other cancer programs throughout the country. Wilson works as lead physician assistant for the Melanoma Program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.
Her expertise is focused on acute care in outpatient oncology with research patients and the general melanoma population. She helps patients manage therapy-driven toxicity-related problems and emergencies. She has expertise in biopsies and suturing techniques; cryotherapy; injections; imaging reviews; clinical trial monitoring; and RECIST tumor measurements.
A natural teacher, Wilson has also worked with a multidisciplinary team on patient education and collaboration. She holds appointments at Chatham University Clinical Preceptor where she is adjunct faculty and is a cancer care modules lecturer on melanoma since 2013.
Inspired to her career by her own father’s battle with cancer (he is doing well!), Wilson says she will never stop wanting to help patients fight melanoma. She also feels confident that a cure is on the horizon given that melanoma treatments have grown exponentially over the last few years.
Wilson is a native of Pennsylvania and has her master’s degree from Chatham University in physician assistant studies (MPAS), and PA-C (certified in Pennsylvania).
From the Clinic to the Living Room Webinars
From the Clinic to the Living Room brings clarity to melanoma’s complexity, designed to help us all better understand melanoma.
Melissa Wilson, PA-C, MPAS, Melanoma Lead with UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and AIM at Melanoma Foundation’s medical expert, explores everything you need to know – from melanoma screening and prevention, how to handle a melanoma diagnosis, understanding one’s treatment options, and far, far more – all brought to you by AIM at Melanoma Foundation.
We also hope that Melissa’s new informational video series, Melanoma 101,” empowers you with a new understanding of melanoma that will inform and change your perspective on the disease.
May 24, 2023, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Melanoma & Skin of Color: Facts and Misconceptions
Though people of color are less likely to develop melanoma, they are much more likely to die from it due to delays in detection or presentation. Melanoma is often diagnosed at a more advanced stage in people of color, making treatment challenging.
In this webinar, Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH joins our host of From the Clinic to the Living Room, Melissa Wilson, PA-C, MPAS, for a conversation about melanoma & skin of color—what are the facts and misconceptions people need to be aware of?
Discussion topics include:
- How does melanoma affect people of color?
- While all types of skin cancer are less common in people of color, their outcomes are dramatically worse. What accounts for this gap?
- What other skin cancer warning signs are different in skin of color?
- Prevention is key. What are the challenges?
- What about vitiligo? Is the risk of melanoma greater in those white patches?
- What precautions are recommended for patients of color?
Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH is the Vice-Chair for Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Dermatology and Professor of Clinical Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. He is the former Chair of the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West. Having served as Director of the first-of-its-kind Skin of Color Center for over 15 years, his work has helped to advance patient care, research, and education pertaining to dermatologic disorders that are prevalent in populations with skin of color.