Fri. Jun 9th, 2023

Mollie Biggane was a healthy, active 20-year-old who played soccer and tennis even though expanding up in Garden City. She had no concept the uncommon mole behind her leg would turn out to be a deadly type of skin cancer identified as melanoma.

By the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had progressed. Six months of therapies and surgeries have been not capable to quit it.

Because her death in 2000, Mollie’s family members has focused on bringing awareness to skin cancer in the hopes of sparing an additional family members from the grief they went via.

Their most current efforts with the nonprofit Mollie’s Fund is a new initiative that will help screen all sufferers that enter Stony Brook University Hospital for skin cancer.


  • The family members of Mollie Biggane, a 20-year-old Garden City lady who died from melanoma in 2000, has spent far more than two decades educating people today about the dangers of skin cancer with the nonprofit Mollie’s Fund.
  • The nonprofit’s most current initiative is a plan to screen all sufferers getting into Stony Brook University Hospital for skin cancer.
  • Skin cancer is the most frequent type of cancer in the United States. Early detection can lead to thriving therapy of the illness.

Incidences of skin cancer have reached “epidemic proportions,” mentioned Victoria Siegel, a registered nurse who sits on the healthcare advisory board of Mollie’s Fund.

Siegel, a professor of nursing at Molloy University, has helped create the screening protocols that will now be employed at Stony Brook and has been implemented at other Extended Island hospitals.

“Nurses are so involved in teaching people today about healthful behaviors, such as correct nutrition and security for young children,” mentioned Siegel. “This is a possibility to teach them about sun protected behaviors, checking their skin and going to a medical doctor if they assume something’s incorrect with their skin.”

Years of exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, tanning beds or sunlamps can lead to skin cancer, according to the Centers for Illness Manage and Prevention. Estimates quoted by the American Academy of Dermatology show about 9,500 people today in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every single day.

“Skin cancer accounts for far more cancer than all the cancers combined,” mentioned Mollie’s mother, Maggie Biggane. “Anyone who has skin can get it and to a significant extent, it really is preventable.”

Melanoma, the most critical type of skin cancer, can spread to the lymph nodes and internal organs. It is very treatable when detected early, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

“Young people today in no way assume it really is going to occur to them,” mentioned Maggie Biggane, who designed the nonprofit with Mollie’s father, Jack, and their young children, Cara, Julie and Jack

Screenings could lead to referrals

Biggane mentioned awareness of skin cancer has vastly enhanced given that Mollie initial noticed the uncommon mole on the back of her leg.

“It had all the hallmarks (of skin cancer),” Biggane mentioned. “It was bleeding. Now we know that is a warning sign.”

With her reddish-blond hair and fair skin, Mollie wasn’t a sun-worshipper, her mom mentioned. But the active young lady was captain of her tennis group and played travel soccer.

“Did we use sunscreen? Yes. Had been we vigilant about it? Almost certainly not,” mentioned Biggane. “We had an umbrella but that does not examine to the SPF clothes parents are placing on their little ones right now.”

Mollie’s Fund operates on educational applications, public service announcements and other efforts to remind people today be mindful of sun exposure and constantly put on sunscreen.

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

“Currently when sufferers are admitted to the hospital, nurses do a complete skin assessment,” mentioned Santora.

“We are hunting for stress ulcers, bruises, rashes and other skin situations. A natural extension of that skin assessment is to observe for moles and speak to the sufferers about their history, whether or not or not they use sunscreen, how significantly sun exposure they have had more than time, and whether or not or not they use sunscreen. Threat of skin cancer increases with the quantity of unprotected sun exposure more than time.”

Santora mentioned nurses will also use the chance to clarify to sufferers the value of safeguarding themselves from the sun’s rays.

If the nurses see an uncommon mole or skin lesion or if the patient relates a concern, they can be referred to a dermatologist for additional examination and probable therapy.

Siegel mentioned people today must be mindful of the sun but not really feel like they can not go outdoors.

“Be sensible about it,” she mentioned. “Cover your skin with clothes. Put on a wide 4 inch brim hat, put on sunscreen and in no way go tanning.”

Lisa joined Newsday as a employees writer in 2019. She previously worked at amNewYork, the New York Everyday News and the Asbury Park Press covering politics, government and common assignment.

By Editor

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