T.W. Lewis Foundation Donates $3M to Expand Melanoma Center of Excellence
The T.W. Lewis Foundation recently made a $3 million philanthropic gift to expand the T.W. Lewis Melanoma Center of Excellence at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. The Melanoma Center was established at Banner MD Anderson’s main campus in Gilbert, thanks to a $2 million gift from the T.W. Lewis Foundation in 2016 and support from community partners and donors.
T.W. Lewis Foundation’s gift will expand the melanoma program to new clinical sites across the Valley to care for Arizona’s growing population of melanoma patients. Funding will support the recruitment and hiring of nurse navigators and research and data coordinators, as well as the expansion of the community outreach program to bring melanoma education, screening and advocacy information to more people. Funds will also assist patients with the cost of genomic profiling and support professional education of healthcare providers across the country on the topic of melanoma and skin cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates more than 2,900 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Arizona this year — and melanoma has become one of the most common cancers in young adults. Since 90 percent of melanoma cases are related to sun exposure, and Arizona is the sunniest U.S. state, there is no better place to continue waging war on this disease.
“Melanoma is the sixth-most common cancer in the United States and rates of diagnosis for the disease have increased dramatically over the past three decades, outpacing almost all other cancers,” said Dr. Mark Gimbel, medical director for the T.W. Lewis Melanoma Center of Excellence. “As cases of the disease continue to rise, it is imperative that patients can access experts in this field to properly diagnose and treat the disease, as well as clinical trials that give patients additional treatment options.”
Since opening in November 2017, the T.W. Lewis Melanoma Center of Excellence has treated more than 1,900 new patients with melanoma, with total patient visits topping 22,000.
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