Statement from Auburn University on Uveal Melanoma

According to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation, there is no known reason or cause for uveal melanoma. Beginning last spring, Auburn University has been working closely with the Alabama Department of Public Health and has had collaborative communications with experts on melanoma from around the nation. Auburn will continue to participate in these communications and will support the Alabama Department of Public Health and melanoma experts as they determine what next steps should be taken in the best interests of the patients who are battling this cancer.

We have also provided informational resources and updates to the campus community and beyond so those concerned have the latest information that is available.

In addition, we are engaging geospatial research experts to gather and analyze data that, among other things, will explore potential links to ocular melanoma in this area, none of which have been definitively found in any previous studies for this very rare cancer. This could help indicate the right and additional paths for future research in finding causes and treatments in the hope of developing a cure.

To keep our campus and community informed, we have launched and communicated an FAQ page on our website at

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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