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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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ASCO 2021 Conference Report by SYSF

The 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting took place from June 4-8, 2021. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention was conducted entirely online. This event brings together over thirty thousand oncologists, pharmaceutical representatives, and patient advocates from across the world and across cancer types for five days of networking, learning, and presenting new research. Every year, Save Your Skin Foundation puts together a report of the panels regarding innovative treatments in the melanoma sphere. In this report are detailed recollections of these panels, categorized by topic. All information offered in this report is the intellectual property of the presenter and their team, as cited by the report.

Click here to read the report!

 

Every year, melanoma and uveal melanoma become more widely covered by clinical trials. While the continued innovation of treatment for these cancers is exciting, it means that we were unable to include every presentation and abstract related to melanoma, uveal melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancers. Therefore, abstracts and presentations that provide updates on safety profiles of past studies and abstracts that do not produce promising clinical results have been excluded. We have also excluded abstracts which, at the time of the meeting, did not have confirmed data.

The informational resources cited in this report are a combination of the transcripts and slides from the ASCO meeting library. All images are courtesy of the author of the respective talk. Any queries may be directed to natalie@saveyourskin.ca

If you are interested in more information from the ASCO 2021 annual meeting, Save Your Skin Foundations is pleased to offer a Post-ASCO 2021 Update with Dr Omid Hamid video concentrated on melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma. Click HERE to view the recording on youTube

 

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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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Adjuvant therapies in melanoma – a guide to navigate treatment options

As part of Melanoma Awareness Month, Save Your Skin Foundation proudly partnered with the Melanoma Network of Canada to create a patient guide on navigating adjuvant therapies for melanoma. Download your copy HERE!

What is Stage III melanoma?

Stage III melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes. Stage III can be divided into 4 categories based on the evolution of the tumour and the extent of the spread to the lymph nodes. These categories are classified as A, B, C and D. These 4 categories are used to determine prognosis and treatment of the melanoma.

What is primary treatment for Stage III melanoma?

Surgery may be recommended once diagnosis is confirmed. The goal of surgery is to remove the cancer and the affected lymph nodes to minimize the risk of the cancer returning.

What is the genetic mutation of the tumour?

The tissue that was removed during surgery will be tested for specific gene mutations. Certain mutations can alter a gene. For example, approximately half of all melanomas have a mutation in the BRAF gene. Identifying associated gene mutations can help determine if additional treatment options such as targeted therapies are recommended.

Once you know the stage of the melanoma, you can discuss next steps of care with your health care professional.  Click here to view the complete guide detailing treatment options and FAQs for your appointment with your Medical Oncologist:

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SYSF Webinar: Post-ASCO 2021 Update

Post-ASCO 2021 Update with Dr. Hamid: Melanoma, Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers, and Ocular Melanoma

Presented by Dr. Omid Hamid, The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Los Angeles, California, this webinar  reviews late breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting that took place in a virtual format in June 2021.

Dr. Hamid shares his key insights into what the landscape of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma treatment looks like for the near future.  As Director of the Melanoma Center at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Dr. Omid Hamid works to ensure that patients receive access to the most up-to-date therapeutics, based on molecular pathways of melanoma progression. Dr. Hamid is recognized as one of the preeminent Immuno-Oncologists and melanoma specialists in the world.

Click HERE to view the Presentation Recording on our youTube channel

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Metastatic Melanoma on Canadian Health & Family – with Dr. Marla Shapiro

Watch this video which aired May 10, 2021:

Melanomas on the skin usually start as areas of pigmentation that’s changed or irregular. If they are noticed and picked up early, they can often be removed. But in some cases it turns into something much greater.

In this segment, we will hear from Dr. Marcus Butler from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Kathy Barnard from Save Your Skin, and Shannon, who has been living with metastatic melanoma since 2005. They will be telling their stories, and sharing support options for those seeking education on metastatic melanoma.

 

For more information please visit Health and Family Metastatic Melanoma – Health and Family

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SYSF Webinar: Skin Cancer A-Z

Webinar Recording Available: “Melanoma and Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers From A-Z” with Dermatologist Thomas G. Salopek, MD FRCPC, Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Alberta.

This webinar helps educate the general public about the dangers of UV exposure, and it also addresses what options patients and their families have if they are diagnosed with any form of skin cancer. Learn about skin cancer statistics in Canada, sun protection and safety, and details on treatment for primary and metastatic basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, merkel cell carcinoma, and melanoma and melanoma sub-types. For more detailed information on immunotherapy and targeted therapy for each of these please view our webinars on each, at https://saveyourskin.ca/webinars-video-resources/

This webinar presentation is in collaboration with Save Your Skin Foundation, La Roche-Posay, the Quebec Cancer Foundation, and the Alberta Society of Melanoma.

To view the presentation recording, click here: https://youtu.be/Ae_QXVAk_lY

To view the French recording please click here: https://youtu.be/Yoh38INeDgo

To learn more about treatment options for melanoma, please click here to see another of our past webinars detailing immunotherapy and targeted therapy:  https://youtu.be/nS9OAFgknwE

To learn all about the NCCN Patient Guidelines to which Dr. Salopek referred, please click here: https://saveyourskin.ca/nccn-guidelines-for-skin-cancers/

For questions or more information on anything presented here please email natalie@saveyourskin.ca or reach Kathy at 1-800-460-5832

 

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ASCO 2020 Event Report

In 2020, the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting took place from May 29th-31st, with the last two days being devoted to online presentations.

This report will be dedicated to the presentations that representatives from Save Your Skin Foundation remotely attended, with a focus on melanoma, innovative treatments, and survivorship. The information in this report is sourced directly, occasionally verbatim, from ASCO presentations and abstracts. If you require more information on an abstract, the clinical trial numbers (where available) are included for your reference.

Please CLICK HERE to read or download the report.

 

Feedback or questions?  Contact us – info@saveyourskin.ca

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SYSF Webinar – Melanoma Treatment FAQs: Do’s, Don’ts, and How to Manage Side Effects

 

Recording available! 

Join us to hear the latest updates on current immunotherapy and targeted therapy treatments for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in Canada. 

Dr. Smylie and Dr. Iafolla will hold a panel discussion on recommended dietary and lifestyle habits while on treatment, as well as managing toxicities from fever and pneumonitis to dermatologic complications from immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Presenters:

  • Dr. Michael Smylie, Medical Oncologist, Cross Cancer Institute, Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton
  • Dr. Marco Iafolla, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Medical Oncologist, Genitourinary and Cutaneous Site Lead, William Osler HS

Click HERE to view the recording!

 

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ASCO 2019 Event Report

The 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting took place from May 31-June 4, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. This event brings together over thirty thousand oncologists, pharmaceutical representatives, and patient advocates from across the world and across cancer types for five days of networking, learning, and presenting new research.

Every year, Save Your Skin Foundation puts together a report of the panels regarding updates on the innovative treatment of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and ocular melanoma. Included in the report are detailed recollections of these panels, in chronological order.

Please CLICK HERE to download and read the report.

 

Feedback or questions?  Contact us – info@saveyourskin.ca

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