Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Melanoma, Theories, and Cat Poop

You Can't Prove A Thing!
I’ve recently posted links on Facebook to two separate articles that state UV exposure is directly linked to melanoma.  When I first read each article, I could almost hear the melanoma community mutter a collective…”DUH!”

We’ve all "known" that UV rays can cause melanoma.  After all, we’ve all read the claims from countless sources.  What we’ve not really fully realized is that there has been no PROOF of this.  During the MRF Patient Symposium this past springat UNC, it was stated that sunscreen is proven protection against squamous cell carcinoma, but not from melanoma.  Again, you have to note the word “Proof.”

For the most part, everything is speculation.  Not just in regards to melanoma…but in everything.  Kind of like my current cat poop dilemma.

I have two cats…Ali (pronounced Alley) and BooBoo (pronounced BooBoo).  Both are loving cats, but Ali is a mischievous feline.  He meows and cries for everything…especially for food (which he rarely touches).  He nibbles on elbows in the middle of the night.  He decorates the carpet with randomly placed hairballs.  But he’s also very warm on my feet at night and an overall good kitty.  BooBoo is a quiet cat.  He loves cuddling up to my wife for moments, but often merely keeps to himself.    He’s a smaller cat and Ali often has his way with him…pushing him out of chairs and taking his toys.

We love both of our cats, but every now and then we find a “surprise” on our bed.  This occurs usually if we’ve missed scooping the litter box for a day or two, or have paid close attention to the hamster during its cage cleaning.  We’ve realized this fecal gift upon our comforter is a message for attention.  We also keep our bedroom doors shut at all times now.

We’ve never known which cat deposited the turd, but we have our suspicions.  Ali is usually cowering under the coffee table just after our screams of “delight” fill the house upon discovering the most recent gift.  We’ve also seen him scamper quickly out of the bedroom just before the next find.  All things considered, we speculate that Ali is the culprit.  We did, until we witnessed BooBoo urinating on our son’s bed.

And we wonder why we rarely have house guests.

We still suspect Ali for most of the wrong-doo-doings in our room, but we haven’t had prove.  We’ve had strong evidence to suggest his guilt, but we’ve not yet caught him in the act.  And BooBoo’s surprise curbed our suspicions a bit.

But I digress.

There has been only suggestive evidence that UV radiation and melanoma are linked.  Past statistical studies of tanning bed users versus non-users suggested that tanners had a higher incidence of melanoma, but one couldn’t really PROVE the link.  It’s like never physically watching the cat poop on our bed…scientists just never witnessed the actual link between melanoma and UV rays.

Until recently. 

This is incredible news.  We can finally start using the “P” word (“proof”…not “poop”) when we warn others about the dangers of UV radiation.  When pro-tanning folks preach the benefits of UV rays, we can cite “proof” that shows there are distinct dangers.  Most importantly, this proof opens more doors towards a cure for this nasty disease.

Now if I could only open up my bedroom door without finding a nasty “gift.”


  1. Great post. Funnily enough melanoma is equivalent to poop in more ways than one!

  2. hahahah! I love the cat poop analogy.

  3. Very good analogy. Fun to read.

  4. Loved this! Very funny - great post and great analogy. I have 2 long-haired cats and can definitely relate to the trials & tribulations that go along with them.

    Thanks for continuing to bring awareness of this awful cancer...


    ps - another melanoma angel this week