Date/Time: November 23, 2022 – 5pm-6:30 pm PT / 8pm-9:30 pm ET
This webinar will focus on the experience of cancer survivors and the importance of mental wellness from the perspective of four women with unique backgrounds and experiences in the cancer space. Shannon Gaudette, a melanoma stage 4 survivor, will talk about her physical and emotional wellbeing throughout her cancer experience. She will be followed by Antonella Scali, Executive Director of the Canadian Psoriasis Network and the daughter of a cancer survivor, who will talk about the results of a survey completed by All.Can Canada and implications for mental health and the need for psychosocial supports. Then, Kathy Barnard, president of the Save Your Skin Foundation and a melanoma stage 4 survivor, will talk about her experience as a long-time survivor. Finally, Lyanne Westie, SYSF wellness support consultant, will present on the importance of mental wellness in all aspects of life. These short presentations will be followed by a discussion between the four presenters, with time for questions from webinar attendees.
November is Ocular Melanoma Awareness month – and it is the time of year we at Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada bring extra public awareness to the importance of dilated eye exams for the detection of ocular melanoma.
Through our work, we will continue the conversation and maintain the #EyeGetDilated campaign beyond November, so that all Canadians can learn about their options for head to toe body health and to include eye checks in their list of doctor exams.
Early detection is incredibly important for many eye diseases, including ocular melanoma. Ocular melanoma is rare, affecting approximately five in a million people. About 200 cases are diagnosed per year in Canada. While it represents only 5% of melanomas, ocular melanoma can be rapid and aggressive, accounting for 9% of melanoma deaths. Also referred to as uveal melanoma, ocular is a more inclusive term; 90% of primary ocular melanoma develops in the choroid.
To read more about the importance of annual dilated eye exams, click on Brianne’s story below:
We are proud to have partnered with the groups BC Doctors of Optometry and Alberta Association of Optometrists!
For more information about Ocumel Canada and the work we do, visit any of the following pages:
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with primary or metastatic ocular melanoma, connect with our community of support, Canadian bilingual Facebook group: Ocular Melanoma Connect/Connexion mélanome oculaire
A tremendous THANK YOU to all of our incredibly dedicated participants and generous donors!
74 participants and 20 teams across Canada took part in Move for Melanoma this year! We have been so moved and inspired by this incredible community of patients, families, and friends.
After the success of last year, we once again set ourselves an ambitious goal of raising $75,000. With your help, we ended up surpassing our goal once again this year!
To wrap up this monumental weekend, we’ve created the Recap Video below. We hope you will take a few moments to watch it as we pay tribute to our incredible participants, donors and sponsors across Canada.
Based in Victoria, BC, Team Captain Nigel Deacon ran a marathon distance to inspire others to donate to this worthy cause. Together with his fellow team members Martin Dawes and Linda Sendall, they raised an incredible $11,760 for ocular melanoma patients.
Check out his team page here.
Based in Chilliwack, BC, Ani Davidson and her sisters challenged themselves to complete a combined 10,000 minutes of fitness between them in the month of September – and they crushed that goal, completing 11,820 minutes! Ani is currently undergoing treatment for melanoma.
Check out her team page here.
Based in Vancouver, BC, Team Mela-No-More raised funds in honour of Laura, whom they lost after a long and courageous fight. Laura was a beautiful and strong woman, wife and mother. The team raised almost $5,370
Check out their team page here.
Finally, we’d like to acknowledge the many businesses that stepped up to support our event this year. Please show them your support!
Save Your Skin Foundation partnered with medical student siblings Samuel and Karen Farag, and the municipalities of Summerside, PEI, Riverview, NB, New Westminster, BC, and Brooks, AB – as well as BC Cancer – to launch 10 dispensers in early August 2022.
The dispensers are automatic and touchless, and provide free, Health Canada approved SPF 30 sunscreen for anyone who needs it. The sunscreen is zinc oxide based, free from chemical sunscreen filters, common allergens and toxic ingredients including oxybenzone, avobenzone, retinyl palminate, PEG, parfume, and sodium lauryl sulphate. See image below for more details.
Here are the locations of the dispensers as of August, 2022:
Applying sunscreen is part of an overall sun-safe way to enjoy the outdoors. First, limit your time in the direct sunlight, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., seek shade, cover up by wearing long sleeves and pants and a wide-brimmed hat. Use sunscreen, specifically one labelled broad-spectrum, SPF 30, protect the lips with lip sunscreen or zinc oxide. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every two hours or after swimming.
Affixed to the Dispensers is a list of the sunscreen ingredients and reference to Health Canada’s approval of the sunscreen, as well as a disclaimer with respect to the use of the Dispenser or the sunscreen contained therein:
THE SUNSCREEN IS BEING USED AT YOUR OWN RISK. None of Save Your Skin Foundation, (participating cities), nor anyone else connected to these organizations, makes any assurances, representations, guarantees or warranties with respect to the use or effectiveness of the sunscreen or dispenser, and any and all use of the sunscreen or dispenser is done at your own risk. By using the sunscreen or the dispenser, you acknowledge and agree that none of Save Your Skin Foundation, (participating cities and organizations to be listed) nor anyone else connected to these organizations are responsible for the results or consequences from any use of the sunscreen or dispenser.
Move for Melanoma is an activity challenge that takes place across Canada. The goal of the event is to bring awareness to melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma, while raising funds to support patients affected with these diseases when they need it most.
This year, the event will take place on September 23-25th, 2022. As always, participants will be able to choose a physical challenge of their choice to complete on the weekend of the event. Participants will form teams and, together with their friends and family, try to reach their personal fundraising goals.
To facilitate the whole thing, again this year, we will be using a custom website that allows people to register, donate, solicit donations, track progress and promote the event all in one place. The website also includes many resources for participants to help them get ready, and a Q&A page for more information.
If you’re interested in joining us, please visit Move for Melanoma 2022 and register now.
Save Your Skin Foundation is the only organization in Canada that supports skin cancer patients financially when they need it most. All the money raised through your donations goes directly to patients in the form of cab fares, treatment costs, flights, accommodation and other necessary but costly expenses incurred while receiving treatment.
Whether you’re a survivor who wants to bring hope to newly diagnosed patients, the family member or friend of a patient who wants to send a powerful message of solidarity, or a patient who wants to help change the face of cancer for ever, we invite you to take a stand against melanoma and to move with us this September!
Hand in hand, we fight melanoma together!
Ocumel Canada in the News
As Ocumel Canada continues to support and advocate for patients touched by ocular melanoma (OM), we are happy to see a monumental step forward in the treatment of this disease across Canada. Last week, Health Canada granted a notice of compliance (NOC) for Kimmtrak® (tebentafusp) for the treatment of metastatic ocular melanoma, closely following approvals in the United States, Australia, and the European Union.
Many patients with this rare cancer have been needing to travel from their home provinces coast to coast – to Toronto – for treatment, which is not an ideal situation for any patient, as they need to be close to their home and support system for ease and comfort as they fight this disease. Ocumel Canada is happy to report that in partnership with treating Physicians and Partners we are making progress in this situation and getting patients treated closer to home.
Global News spoke to two patients in this interview, click HERE to watch the recording.
Ocumel Canada and Save Your Skin Foundation applaud Health Canada’s approval of Kimmtrak® (tebentafusp) for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma in HLA-A*02:01-positive adult patients. We now hope that every province and territory will take swift steps to list this drug on their public formularies in order to make this therapy available to patients across Canada.
We thank all patients and their caregivers who shared their experience and feedback to this process. To learn more about this immunotherapy treatment and the approval, read our full press release by clicking HERE.
To add to all of this great news – we wish to invite all Canadian OM patients or caregivers to join the VISION Registry, an online research database created by our friends at CureOM, Melanoma Research Foundation.
The database will allow researchers to better understand ocular melanoma (OM) as well as the needs and preferences of patients. For example, researchers can look at the socio-demographics, genetics, accompanying conditions, and treatments of patients from around the world and any potential links to OM that might exist.
The research will also look at patients’ experience from onset of symptoms to confirmed diagnosis and how that can be improved.
For the VISION Registry to be successful we need as many patients as possible to securely share their data. There is power in numbers! Please register and add your information to the registry. We are eager to learn together to advance knowledge and eventually find a cure for OM.
(At this time, the registry is available in English only, but we are working on a French-Canadian translation, stay tuned!)
Click here to learn more and join the Vision Registry: https://melanoma.org/visionregistry/
The term ‘survivor’ can mean different things to different people. For some, a survivor may have completed active treatment and is free from any signs of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer. For others, the term may refer to anyone who has been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, or any type of cancer, at any point in their journey.
During treatment, just getting through each day can take all of the energy we have, making it hard to think about anything else, especially life after treatment. After treatments are over, many people experience mixed emotions of being glad it’s over, yet anxious about what the future may hold. This may be an unexpectedly challenging period of adjustment, so be sensitive to your own needs. Don’t expect to always feel good now that you’re out of treatment, and take the time you need to come to terms with what you have been through.
How can we define ‘survivorship’?
‘Survivorship’ can have many different meanings, depending on your outlook on the situation. The Canadian Cancer Society suggests a way of defining a cancer survivor as anyone who:
~ has finished and is recovering from their active cancer treatment
~ is on maintenance therapy
~ is having ongoing treatment for cancer that is stable and slow growing
~ is on active surveillance
~ is in remission or “NED” – having no evidence of disease
At wherever point you are in your cancer experience, ‘survivorship’ means simply what it means to you. If you believe that you are a survivor, take this label on and be proud of your strength!
Save Your Skin Foundation wishes to bring hope and support to all those newly diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment, or to those referred to as “NED.” We have several resources and sources of information and support listed through our website, some of which include:
Updated Canadian Statistics on Cancer Survivorship
The number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Canada is increasing, but survival rates are also increasing, resulting in a greater need to address the unique challenges of cancer survivorship. Survival rates are increasing thanks to innovative medicines such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy treatments, many of which were first invented and tested for the treatment of melanoma skin cancer.
The 5-year survival rate for melanoma in 2015-2017 was 89%. Read our 2022 distillation of the CCS report with a focus on melanoma: SYSF Recap Report – Canadian Cancer Society Statistics 2021
Hand in Hand, We Fight Skin Cancer Together – More Resources at these links:
Innovative Treatments – Taking Patients from Diagnosis to Survivorship
Decision-Support Tool For Stage III Melanoma
Customized for the Canadian audience, this pamphlet is a document to provide/discuss with patients that helps guide their decision making regarding next steps for stage III melanoma. Reviewed by Save Your Skin Foundation, updated February 2021:
Options for Stage III Melanoma ~ Making the Decision That’s Right for You
Want to learn how to use the Stage III Decision-Support Tool? Peruse frequently asked questions about Stage III melanoma and learn how to use the support tool to guide your decision making. Also developed in collaboration with Save Your Skin Foundation, updated February 2021:
Options for Stage III Melanoma: Making the Decision That’s Right for You, Companion Piece
Decision-Support Tool For Stage IV Melanoma
Newly customized for the Canadian audience, this pamphlet, created by AIM at Melanoma and reviewed by Save Your Skin Foundation in March 2022, is a document to support patients and help guide their decision making regarding next steps for stage IV melanoma:
Stage IV Melanoma Treatment Options: Making the Decision That’s Right for You
The document addresses:
– Stage IV melanoma clinical picture, biomarkers and pathology, and disease and patient factors involved in decision making
– Efficacy, safety, administration, and family-planning aspects of targeted therapies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and other therapies used for stage IV melanoma
I’m Living Proof
When Save Your Skin Founder Kathy Barnard was diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma in 2003, the first thing she did was look to the internet for anything that would inspire optimism for her prognosis; hopeful news, survivors, or treatment options. She didn’t find much. Now as you can see there is a plethora of information and resources to help us though our skin cancer journey.
At any time, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Kathy directly at 1-800-460-5832
You can also find other patients or survivors on our I’m Living Proof map of stars – request to connect with someone on the map, choose to share your story, or simply read through others’ experiences – you are not alone.
(le français suit)
Don’t miss our webinar with Dr. Marcus Butler, the Medical Oncology Disease Site Lead for Melanoma/Skin Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is also the Clinical Director for the Immune Monitoring Team at the Princess Margaret where he focuses on the immunologic impact of anti-cancer immunotherapies.
This webinar reviews late breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting taking place in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2022.
Dr. Butler shares his key insights into what the landscape of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma treatment looks like for the near future in Canada.
WEBINAIRE : Mise à jour sur le mélanome/cancer de la peau/mélanome oculaire de l’ASCO 2022
Regardez l’enregistrement du webinaire avec le Dr Marcus Butler, responsable du site d’oncologie médicale pour le mélanome et l’oncologie de la peau au Princess Margaret Cancer Centre et professeur adjoint de médecine à l’Université de Toronto. Il est également le directeur clinique de l’équipe de surveillance immunitaire du Princess Margaret, où il se concentre sur l’impact immunologique des immunothérapies anticancéreuses.
Ce webinaire a passé en revue les dernières nouvelles, les points essentiels, les données cliniques et d’autres mises à jour présentées lors de l’assemblée annuelle de l’American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) qui a eu lieu à Chicago, en Illinois, en juin 2022.
Le Dr Butler a partagé ses idées clés sur ce à quoi ressemble le paysage du traitement du mélanome, des cancers de la peau autres que le mélanome et du mélanome oculaire dans un avenir proche au Canada.