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RNPA Intensive - Learning Experience

“In a year’s time after taking the RNPA Learning Intensive, my career, my health, my family, my very life has been transformed. I am forever grateful” — Karen DiMarco, RN, iRNPA

“The way of the future of absolute must if you want to make and be the difference in righting the wrongs of healthcare. Kare is a wonderful mentor who has put her soul into this program. Passion, Vision, Perseverance.” — Lana Benton, RN, iRNPA

“The forethought, experience, openness, philosophy and preparation provides all the tools, thought process, and confidence to begin and succeed as an iRNPA.” — Leta Gill, RN, iRNPA

“My experience attending the iRNPA program was a refreshing one, to say the least. This program was packed with life changing information that is not readily taught or available to RN's. This program equipped me with the tools I need to be an iRNPA!  If you are ready for a change after working for many years in the clinical setting, and are driven to help patients and families, this is the program for you!  Karen is a wealth of knowledge that is unmatched in the advocacy process.” — Jamie Long

“Thank you so much for putting together such an incredible RN PA intensive course!  It is truly intensive but so worth it!  I learned a lot and will be using the Medical Time Line and lab spreadsheet with as many clients as i can.  All great information and can’t wait to get my speaking engagements lined up now that I have your fantastic power points!” —  Nan Wetherhorn, Health Care Advisor,

Melanoma – what do we really need to know? Is it curable? Is it always caused by overexposure to the sun?


abcd_melanomaMartha Grout, MD, reports that: “Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. If recognized and treated early, it is nearly 100 percent curable. When not caught early, a melanoma spot the size of a dime can spread to other parts of the body where it becomes hard to treat.”  Melanoma arises from a type of cell called melanocyte, present in the deep in the epidermis, the top layer of the skin.

Who is most vulnerable?  Half of all cases of melanoma occur under the age of 57 – in men more than women. Risk factors include family history of melanoma, history of multiple sunburns, age, light hair color, total number of moles present on the body, and location of the melanoma itself. 

What about indoor tanning? In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, reclassified tanning devices into the highest cancer risk category as "carcinogenic to humans." 

So, do we blame it all on the sun – the UVA and UVB rays?

Let’s consider the following:

  • In 1900, about 75% of the U.S. population worked outdoors. Melanoma was rare. Since then, the incidence of melanoma has been steadily rising and sun exposure is decreasing. Vitamin D deficiencies are becoming epidemic. 
  • Melanoma is more common in indoor workers than outdoor workers.
  • Diet plays a part.  Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council: 

 "Diets rich in vegetables, fruits, and omega-3 fats –protects your skin from burning. The people who get sunburned live and work indoors, go to the beach (or pools) two or three times in the summer to roast themselves.   Frequent sunburns, especially in childhood, are but one factor in melanoma – genetics and diet are more important.”

  • Can it being the thinning ozone layer – more sun rays getting through?  Research from the U CA – San Diego – reports that the thicker the ozone layer, the higher the rates of melanoma. Australia and New Zealand, for example, have a very thick ozone layer, and they have very high rates of melanoma.  The atmospheric condition acts as a sunscreen, blocking the body's ability to make vitamin D. No UVB reaching ground level means no protective vitamin D
  • The UCSD researchers also make a compelling argument that when sunscreens use rose, the rates of melanoma and other cancers went up. The ability to tan is a highly protective factor, and sunscreens inhibit this natural protection. “One thing we do know – there are no studies showing that sunscreens prevent melanoma.

How to protect ourselves?  Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and omega-3 fats (fish oil) and avoid getting sunburned (stay in the shade).  

protect_from_sunArthur Rhodes, MD, MPH, Dermatologist, counsels avoiding sun exposure during peak intensity times, cover up with clothing, use high SPF sunscreen (pick a safe one; see article on Sunscreen on this site).  “Sun protection during the first 15 years of life has been estimated to reduce the risk of epithelial skin cancer by 80%.

Maintain a good level of Vitamin D (cancer protective).  Ask your physician to test your level.  You may need to supplement.

Want to learn more?

Contact us!

RN Patient Advocates, PLC

3400 West Goret Road
Tucson, AZ 85745
Phone: 520-743-7008
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