Do you have a family member with melanoma?

Make your feelings known!

Having a family member with a serious illness such as melanoma is not easy for anyone. It can be useful to talk about your feelings to someone you respect and trust – if not one of your parents then an older brother or sister, another family member, a teacher, counsellor or a religious leader you know and respect.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about things you don’t understand or that are bothering you. Sometimes the most important questions such as, “will my mother,  father, or sibling be ok?” are impossible to answer, but it’s good to ask and have a good talk about what is known and what is not known about your family member’s condition.

Protect yourself- The 5 S’S of Sun Safety

Here are five simple ways to stay protected from the sun’s dangers:

  1. SLIP on a t-shirt to keep shoulders covered as they can easily burn
  2. SLOP on SPF 30+ broad spectrum, 4 star + UVA sunscreen
  3. SLAP on a broad-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears
  4. SLIDE on quality wrap-around sunglasses
  5. SHADE from the sun whenever possible, particularly between 10 am and 4 pm


  • T-shirt
  • Sunscreen bottle
  • Broad-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach umbrella


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Top 5 things to know about sun safety


Use a good-quality UVA/UVB sunscreen, applied generously 30 minutes before going outside. Cover all exposed areas, including ears and feet, and repeat after several hours or after swimming or heavy sweating.


Stay in the shade as much as possible and limit sun exposure during peak midday hours between 10 am and 4 pm.


Use clothes and hats as much as possible to cover up exposed skin while outside.


Just because it’s cloudy doesn’t mean the sun can’t harm you. Take precautions even when it’s cloudy, particularly if it’s thin cloud or alternating between sun and cloud.


The sun can also be damaging to your skin in cooler seasons, even in winter and especially when there is snow and ice to reflect sunshine. Take precautions all year round!


There’s usually no simple answer as to why one person gets a disease like melanoma and another one doesn’t. You’re right, it certainly isn’t fair. However, these are the kinds of bad things that can happen throughout life and we have to deal with them as best we can. Remember that being sick doesn’t change how your parent or sibling feels or cares about you – in fact, they likely need your love even more.

No! No one knows for sure why some people get melanoma and other people don’t, but we do know that no one else causes it to happen in someone else.

Yes! It’s important for you to be able to continue to do the things you enjoy even though someone in your family is sick. In fact, seeing you having fun is likely one of the best things you can do to help them feel better. But be aware they might be tired or in a bit of pain sometimes so if they ask you to be quiet or do something else for a while, try to do what you’re asked, and help out with chores around home as much as you can too. That will help.

It’s impossible to say what will happen with this disease. Some people die from melanoma, but some don’t and live well for a long time. Ask a parent what they know about their disease, how it is being treated and what might happen. They won’t have any “for sure” answers, but ask them to share what they know and think. It’s important to talk and share your feelings.

You can’t catch melanoma from someone else. It’s not like a cold. So don’t worry about getting it from them and keep on hugging and kissing them like usual – they will likely want your hugs more than ever! However, as you grow up you should be careful about protecting your skin from the sun because that can be a cause of skin cancers like melanoma. Everyone should protect themselves against the sun, but having a parent who has melanoma can increase your risk of getting it later in life, so the more precautions you take the better it will be for you.

NOTE: The information on the Save Your Skin website is not intended to replace the medical advice of a doctor or healthcare provider. While we make every effort to ensure that the information on our site is as current as possible, please note that information and statistics are subject to change as new research and studies are published. 


Making awareness and education available is crucial. Since 2006, the Foundation has worked to raise awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers focusing on education, prevention and the need for improved patient care.