Local woman makes it her mission to spread the word about dangers of melanoma

Posted at 5:57 PM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 23:16:23-04

NORFOLK, Va. - It can be found on your largest organ, and it can kill you.

We are talking about skin cancer.

Skin cancer survivor Ann Hupp said she has felt the painful effects of this cancer.

“It was stupid and it shouldn’t have happened,” said Hupp.

Hupp is talking about the death of her best friend.

She said at 46 years old, her friend passed away from melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer.

“When we were growing up together, we were lifeguards. We were always on the water; she’s a huge sailor."

Hupp said they didn’t even think about skin cancer and the dangers of it.

Being outside in the sun is something that people do in Hampton Roads.

“Here in Hampton Roads, many people have spent much of their life outdoors - whether it’s for work or leisure activities - and a lot of people have had a lot of exposure to the sun,” said Dr. Abby Van Voorhees, the Chairwoman of Dermatology and professor at EVMS.

Experts say you can get skin cancer anywhere on your body - even if it’s not exposed to the sun.

Dr. Van Voorhees said early detection is key.

“The least-common skin cancer is the most deadly, and that’s melanoma,” said Dr. Van Voorhees. “That’s the one that, sadly, can spread very quickly.”

She is one of several doctors participating in a free screening happening Saturday at Bon Secours Cancer Institute at DePaul Hospital from 9 a.m. until noon.

Last year, Hupp sent her sister to the screening.

“The skin screening last May saved my sister's life, probably,” said Hupp.

Hupp said she has experienced skin cancer and so has her sister, along with her husband.

Now, her mission to get the word about and educate people and encourage them to get checked.

More about the event on Saturday:

  • Saturday, May 4, 2019
  • 9 a.m. to noon
  • Bon Secours Cancer Institute at DePaul Hospital, 155 Kingsley Lane, Norfolk, Va. 23505

Schedule your appointment today by calling 757-889-CARE (2273).

Click here for more information.