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Cancer Survivor Day 2022

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:

Survivorship
Self-Care After Cancer 

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 info@saveyourskin.ca, 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.

 

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Looking Back at 2021

Our 2021 Annual Reports are out now!

It’s always a rewarding experience to look back on the past year and see how much the Foundation has accomplished.

Despite another year amid the pandemic, Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada have continued to grow partnerships, operations and services, and reach more people touched by melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma.

We are extremely grateful to our community of patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and sponsors who continue to inspire and support us in our endeavors.

Click on the images below to view the reports:

 

 

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Webinar: Diagnosed with Skin Cancer? Here’s What To Do Next

View the recording of our webinar ~ February 24, 2022

An Hour with Kathy Barnard

In this webinar, Kathy Barnard, founder of SYSF and melanoma survivor, shares her experience navigating and advocating through the Canadian health care system, which is complicated and can be confusing to many. She helps patients and caregivers understand how to get from diagnosis to surgical and/or systemic treatment of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) such as metastatic basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) or merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

Click HERE to view the recording!

And click HERE to download/print a list of Questions you can ask your Doctor

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Announcing the GetSkinHelp mobile app!

We want you to #StopWaiting and get your skin checked as part of #DigitalHealthWeek!

SYSF is proud to be partnering with Skinopathy for the launch of their mobile app: GetSkinHelp

The GetSkinHelp mobile app allows individuals to access the SkinAI™ technology – an embedded artificial intelligence that allows people to quickly analyze for a selection of skin diseases, including skin cancers – and schedule video appointments with a licensed Canadian doctor who can help determine next steps.

From there, the doctor might suggest an in-person appointment or simply write a prescription, which will be sent to the patient’s home or pharmacy. What is most important is that the app gets a person in front of a doctor faster than traditional means.

Watch this video to learn more:

 

Download the new free #GetSkinHelp app and have your skin concerns analyzed by their SkinAI™ technology. You can then schedule an appointment with a skin doctor and have them check it out virtually. And best of all, it is all covered by provincial health plans!

#StopWaiting and download the app now to get the medical attention YOU need:

Download the app for Apple  |  Download the app for Android

 

See a licensed doctor and heal your skin. All online. On any device.
And covered by Canadian health cards.

In the summer of 2020, Dr. Colin Hong and entrepreneur Keith Loo noticed that the medical delays caused by the pandemic had resulted in greater occurrences of late stage skin cancers being diagnosed. A few months later they created Skinopathy, a medtech company with one simple goal: find answers on how they can help solve this growing public concern.

Save Your Skin Foundation is proud to support the launch of GetSkinHelp – a new service covered by Canadian health cards that allows people to get prompt and virtual medical attention when it comes to skin diseases and skin cancers. Click here to read the press release

At Save Your Skin Foundation, we are an organization dedicated to reducing skin cancers in Canada and providing compassionate support to those living with skin cancer. And we are always on the lookout for ways that can help with that mandate, but we also acknowledge we are not the experts on advanced technology.

As part of Digital Health Week and the #StopWaiting and Get Skin Help campaign, with the folks at Skinopathy, we hosted this roundtable that will help us understand how healthcare is changing due to new technologies, and what needs to happen to keep patients safe. 

The Future of Healthcare – Just Because We Can, Doesn’t Always Mean We Should

Healthcare and technology luminaries discuss how modern technology and social trends are changing healthcare, but are they all good things and what can be done to safeguard patients?

Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Reichental, with Guests – Ashley Casovan, Pirth Singh, and Keith Loo. Click here to view the Roundtable Discussion:

 

#StopWaiting and GetSkinHelp

Download the app for Apple  |  Download the app for Android

***Moderator***

Dr. Jonathan Reichental

Dr. Reichental is the founder of the advisory, investment, and education firm, Human Future. He is also a multiple-award-winning technology and business leader whose career has spanned both the private and public sectors. Most notably, he served as the chief information officer for the City of Palo Alto in California and in 2017 was named one of the top 100 CIOs in the World.

***Guests***

Ashley Casovan

Ashley has been at the forefront of building tools and policy interventions to support the responsible use and adoption of innovative technologies, both with her work at the Government of Canada, and now as the Executive Director of the Responsible AI Institute. She was also named as one of the top 100 most influential Young People in Government by Apolitical in 2018.

Pirth Singh

Pirth is a government maverick and trailblazer who has helped the government of Canada embrace open source technologies. He is now the Assistant Director General for the Industry Canada Innovation, Science and Economic Development team where he is leading the work on the development and implementation of digital credentials.

Keith Loo

Keith is the CEO and Co-Founder of Skinopathy, a Canadian medical technology startup that is revolutionizing the patient circle-of-care. He is heavily involved in the Canadian tech start-up community, consults out of several incubators and accelerators in the Greater Toronto Area, and is an entrepreneurship instructor at the Schulich School of Business.

 

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6th Annual Patients Redefining the Future of Health Care in Canada Summit

6th Annual Patients Redefining the Future of Health Care in Canada Summit
 
Patients Redefining the Future of Health Care in Canada: COVID-19’s Echo Pandemics — the Way Forward
 
Week of November 15, 2021:
  • November 15 Echo Pandemics in Healthcare
  • November 17  Echo Pandemics in Indigenous Health
  • November 18 Echo Pandemics: The Way Forward
  • November 19  Patient Planning Session

 

Click HERE for more information: Agenda, Speakers, and Recording Links

 

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1 Week Until the Federal Election: Make Healthcare a Priority

Take Action Before September 20

Send your local federal candidates a letter using our easy, automated website. You can customize the message to address issues important to you.  Having local candidates hear directly from patients is very powerful.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed our healthcare system beyond its breaking point, as the system provided care to the overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients, while endeavouring to maintain care for all other patients.

Advocating for change has never been simpler and will only take you a few seconds.

Regardless of ability to pay, or where they live, Canadians should not be reliant on “the postal code lottery.” All Canadians deserve to have health care placed at the center of the commitments of our future government.

Contact your candidates now to have your voice heard! Automatically send a letter to your local candidates that you can personalize as much or as little as you want.

Click HERE to encourage Government to Make Healthcare a Priority

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Calling All Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Patients – Survey 2021

We invite all non-melanoma skin cancer patients having had surgical procedure(s) and/or systemic treatment to take this 10-minute anonymous survey to share their feedback:

The Patient Experience: Surgical and Systemic Treatment of Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancers

Information gathered from this survey will be part of Save Your Skin Foundation’s recommendations to the CADTH Common Drug Review (CDR) and the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR), and will help us better understand discussions that skin cancer patients have with their surgeons along the treatment continuum.

This survey is now closed.  Thanks to All for their feedback and support.

Stay tuned for the resulting report. 

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Webinar – Social Determinants of Health: Key Concepts and Practical Considerations

6th Annual Patients Redefining the Future of Health Care in Canada Presents:

Webinar – Social Determinants of Health: Key Concepts and Practical Considerations

Registration Link: bit.ly/jun29webinar

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National Post: Therapeutic Spotlight on Immuno-Oncology

On September 26, 2018, you may have seen a special insert in the paper version of the National Post across the country, featuring eight pages of informative articles about immunotherapy, an innovative treatment proving successful in several cancer indications.  This special content is the result of a collaboration between sponsoring funders, patient group representatives, and the folks at a group called Patient Diaries.  Over the years, Patient Diaries has coordinated several series such as this, raising awareness of various diseases and their effective treatments.                                                        This time they chose to highlight Immuno-Oncology.

Researchers and clinicians treating metastatic melanoma have been seeing success with these therapies for about ten years, but the growing use of and experimentation with them in recent years has been the topic of discussion at countless oncology conferences and treatment centres around the world.  In fact, just last month the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation: immunotherapy.

Save Your Skin Foundation openly discusses the need for access to these treatments by melanoma patients across Canada, and we jumped on the opportunity to be the primary patient group sponsor of this feature, sharing our collective patient experience with these therapies. On page six of the insert there was an article in which both Kathy Barnard and Natalie Richardson of Save Your Skin were interviewed.  We were also given half a page to display informative anecdotes about ourselves and raise awareness of our ongoing support of skin cancer patients.

In addition to the paper version of the Therapeutic Spotlight, a digital space has been placed on the National Post website.  SYSF awareness spots and our patient video from May 2018 can be seen throughout the Immuno-Oncology board – please feel free to take a look around.  There are additional informative articles about innovative treatments for lung cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer.

There is also a blog written by Natalie Richardson, melanoma survivor and Managing Director of SYSF, discussing the barriers to treatment access that many Canadian patients face.  Click here to read the blog: Cancer Patients Receive Unequal Treatment Depending on Stage or Postal Code

To see what else SYSF is talking about, click here to visit our MEDIA page!

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pre-DPPS Webinar – Health Care Systems in Canada: Where We Are Now

In advance of the upcoming Drug Pricing Policy Summit in Toronto in November, you are invited to join the webinar: Health Care Systems in Canada: Where We Are Now on Wednesday, October 24th from 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET.

This webinar will provide a broad overview of Canada’s drug approval process: Health Canada, pCPA, CADTH and PMPRB with the objective of updating participants on each of the organization’s roles and current initiatives in making drugs available to Canadians.

This is a primer for participants attending the November 13-14 2018 Drug Pricing Policy Summit: Patients Redefining Health Care and for others who would like to have a review of these systems for their interest.

To register for this free webinar, please CLICK HERE.

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