Healthier Connections: Hartford’s new ‘Melanoma and Skin Care Center’

HARTFORD  -- Dr. Omar Eton recently arrived in Connecticut after working at Cancer Institutes in New York, Texas and Massachusetts. Now, he will lead Hartford healthcare’s new Melanoma and Skin Care Center.

Cases of melanoma, a cancer of the skin, are on the rise. More than 87,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year.

"If you notice, melanoma is number five for women," said Dr. Eton.

But survival rates are improving - a testament to aggressive, effective treatments and early detection.

"Anything that’s growing on the skin, people need to go see their doctor," he said.

Patients are advised to learn the ABC's of skin cancer. When looking at moles, check for: asymmetry, border irregularity, color variegation and diameter.

"The diameter could be the size of a pencil eraser - or higher - that makes you think you should see a dermatologist," said Dr.Eton.

Dr. Eton has already reached out to the community - recently participating in this free skin screening event for the public at the Westfarm's Hartford Healthcare Rest and Relaxation Lounge.

"It’s really been remarkable," he said.

Due to an alliance with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Hartford healthcare patients will have access to the latest clinical trials. Dr. Eton promises to bring Connecticut revolutionary melanoma treatments - including immunotherapy which harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

"It’s probably the last thing I’m going to do in my lifetime and I’m going to make sure it’s big," said Dr. Eton.