In the U.S. alone, someone is diagnosed with melanoma once every eight minutes. Someone dies from the fast-growing cancer every hour.

Mark Encin was one of them. After fighting cancer for two years, he lost his life to the disease. But his legacy lives on as his family, friends and supporters raise money for his cancer treatment center and a scholarship in honor of Mark.

In 2008, the Mark Encin Foundation promised to raise $50,000 for the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute in the next five years. Through hosting events such as Casino Night and an annual Golf Outing, along with using Reminderband wristbands, the foundation is on its way to achieving its goal.

The PSHCI offers a better option for those seeking cancer treatment in central Pennsylvania, and the Mark Encin Foundation scholarship will assist a graduating senior from Mark’s alma mater in their efforts to seek an undergraduate degree.

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Although Mark was diagnosed with melanoma in 1996, the physician did not advise followup and Mark did not pursue treatment until eight years later, when he discovered a lump in one of his lymph nodes. Most Americans do not realize the danger of melanoma — something the Mark Encin Foundation seeks to remedy. The Mark Encin wristbands or cancer bracelets both benefit the foundation and promote awareness of this fast-growing disease.

Here are some facts and warnings about melanoma, courtesy of the Mark Encin Foundation:

  • “Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, the cells that make up the pigment melanin. The cancer usually starts as a mole (skin melanoma), but can also begin in other pigmented tissues, such as the eye or in the intestines.
  • Most Americans do not realize the severity and seriousness of melanoma.
  • One in 50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma, and nearly 69,000 are expected to be diagnosed in the United States with the disease in 2009, resulting in an estimated 8,650 deaths.
  • Melanoma is the fastest growing type of cancer in the United States.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates that the risk of developing invasive melanoma in the United States is 1 in 41 men and 1 in 61 women.
  • The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other demographic group, soaring by 50 percent in young women since 1980.
  • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old.
  • Although melanoma is most common in Caucasians, melanoma can strike men and women of all ages, all races and all skin types.”