We are very pleased to be launching the Sty-Lives (Styling Hair & Saving Lives) program aimed at increasing early detection of skin cancer
The Sty-Lives program is being led by Dr. Miranda Waugh, first year Dermatology resident at the University of Ottawa, and Shannon D’Angelo, medical student at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, with the support of Save Your Skin Foundation, and leading Dermatologists across Canada.
Through the Sty-Lives program and video, participating salons and barbershops are provided with training materials and resources, and are taught how to detect suspicious spots.
The purpose of the project is to help facilitate communication between the client and their healthcare provider, leading to earlier detection of potentially dangerous skin cancers. The goal is to help with detection, not with diagnosis. Click here to read the full press release
Help us spread the word!
All hair professionals in Canada are eligible to participate. The next time you get your hair cut, tell your hairstylist or barber about this project and invite them to visit www.saveyourskin.ca/sty-lives to learn more and to register.
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:
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:
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.
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 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 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.
We are thrilled to be partnering with Vancouver Canucks’ JT Miller and his wife Natalie this year to fundraise during Move for Melanoma.
Train Like the Canucks is a team that can be joined by anyone. People who join the team are challenged to complete a workout designed by JT Miller himself with the help of his trainer, which emulates a typical workout performed by the Vancouver Canucks hockey players.
All who join the team will be entered into a draw to win a signed Vancouver Canucks’ jersey and other prizes.
Funds raised by Train Like the Canucks will go to Save Your Skin Foundation, the only organization in Canada that supports skin cancer patients financially when they need it most, in the form of treatment costs, flights, accommodation and other necessary but costly expenses incurred while receiving treatment.
To learn more about JT Miller and his wife’s connection to Save Your Skin Foundation, watch the short video below.
To join, start by clicking here to register. On the registration page, select “Train Like the Canucks” from the list of activities. If you’re a new user, create an account. If you’re a returning participant, login to your existing account. *If you’ve already registered for another team for this year’s event, you will have to join with a different account using a different email address.* There is a $25 registration fee to join the Train Like the Canucks team.
Does it cost money to be part of Train Like the Canucks?
There is a $25 fee to be part of Train Like the Canucks. All proceeds will go directly to supporting skin cancer patients in need. You are also encouraged to make a donation and to invite your friends and family to support the cause. We thank you in advance for your support.
When will I receive the Canucks workout plan?
Once you are registered with Train Like the Canucks, you will receive the workout plan by email within a couple of weeks. If you don’t receive it within two weeks, please look in your spam folder or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I tried joining Train Like the Canucks but I got an error message saying I’m already registered. What should I do?
Unfortunately, you cannot be part of more than one team with the same account. That means that if you’ve already registered for Move for Melanoma this year, you’ll have to create a separate account to join Train Like the Canucks. To do so, you will need to use a different email address. If you don’t have two email addresses and want to join, please email email@example.com to make arrangements.
This year, we’ll be joined by Vancouver Canucks’ JT Miller and his wife Natalie to raise funds for melanoma skin cancer.
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 illnesses when they need it most.
This year, the event will take place on September 25-26th, 2021. 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.
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!
Save Your Skin Foundation is very pleased to announce we are now a Verified Voice on Healthing.ca, providing a wide variety of informational articles including prevention, treatment options, melanoma staging, patient stories and more.
Healthing.ca is a destination for information on symptoms, diseases and treatments as well as insights on the latest health trends, research and the people who are disrupting health care as we know it.
During Black History Month we want to bring awareness to how skin cancer and melanoma affect the Black community and people of colour.
Skin cancer is less common in people of colour, but when it does occur, it’s often diagnosed at an advanced stage and has a worse prognosis. This can be deadly when the person has melanoma. Treatment for any type of skin cancer can be difficult in the late stages.
About 52% of Black people and 26% of Hispanics find out they have melanoma when it has already spread, compared with 16% of White people.
One study, found an average five-year melanoma survival rate of only 67% in Black people versus 92% in White people.
According to experts, there’s a lower public awareness overall of the risk of skin cancer among people of colour.
Also, from the perspective of health-care providers, there’s often a lower index of suspicion for skin cancer in patients of colour, because the chances of it actually are smaller. So these patients may be less likely to get regular, full-body skin exams.
The warning signs of skin cancer are different in people of colour
In people of colour, skin cancer often develops on parts of the body that get less sun like the soles of the feet, lower legs, and palms, which makes detection more difficult. Up to 60 – 75% of melanoma in people of colour occurs on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and the nail areas. This cancer may also begin around the anus, or on the genitals.
The risk factors for acral melanomas are not fully understood — acral meaning on the hands and feet — but sun is less likely to be a factor. In melanomas on the whole, UV radiation is certainly a major risk factor, and there are plenty of UV-induced melanomas and squamous cell carcinomas in people of colour, who can have a wide range of complexions, from very fair to very dark. But the proportion of skin cancers that occur in non-sun-exposed sites is greater in darker-skinned populations.
About 50% of basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are pigmented (meaning brown in color) in darker-skinned patients. If you look at the typical photos of BCCs used in educational materials — most of which focus on fair skin — you’ll see a pink, pearly growth that may or may not be crusted. What you’ll almost never see is an image of a brown, slightly translucent lesion. Yet about half of BCCs in darker-skinned patients are brown, or pigmented, and thus easier to miss.
Save Your Skin Foundation, along with many other skin cancer organizations, is working to include more skin of colour in images of skin cancers.
A young Winnipeg girl named Drea has been busy during the pandemic making buttons for face masks. The ingenious buttons attach to your glasses to take the pressure off your ears.
With the help of her grandmother Suzanne, Drea launched ‘Designs by Drea’ and began making and selling the buttons in the summer of 2020.It was always their intention to donate a portion from each sale to Save Your Skin Foundation.
Drea’s uncle Wes has stage 2 high risk melanoma and just finished a year of Immunotherapy treatment.
Last month Drea donated half of her profits to Save Your Skin Foundation, donating the other half to another Canadian skin cancer charity to support efforts to find a cure for melanoma.
You can still purchase buttons at $3.00 for one pair or $5.00 for 2 pair. To order email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last March, Chris Isfeld completed a massive challenge, a challenge no one ever thought he’d be able to complete only a couple of years before. Three years after being diagnosed with late stage melanoma and becoming partially paralyzed from the waist down, he ran 30km across frozen Lake Winnipeg and raised almost $20,000 for melanoma patients.
Building on last year’s enormous success, Chris invites you to join A Viking’s Challenge this year by running a distance of your choice anywhere in Canada. By channeling our inner Vikings, we will make a powerful statement of support for Chris’s heroic journey and help support other melanoma patients so they can, one day, be victors themselves.
To learn more about Chris’s story and last year’s challenge, click here.
Where: Because of the pandemic, the event will take place virtually, allowing participants to run any distance they choose from any location in Canada and beyond.
How: To participate, you must first register here and pledge to run a certain number of kilometres. We will keep a running tally of the number of kilometres pledged and see how many times we can “cross” Lake Winnipeg.
Each participant will have the option to get a free medal to commemorate their participation. Special t-shirts and other merchandise are also available for purchase in our Etsy store!
How many times will we cross the lake this year?
As of this writing, 13 participants have already pledged to run a total of 205km (last updated on Jan. 18). What will you pledge to run?
As always, every dollar raised through this event will go directly to assisting melanoma, non melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma patients meet their everyday needs during treatment in the form of transportation, accommodation, child care, lost wages and more.
So what are you waiting for? Register now for A Viking’s Challenge and start training to channel your inner Viking!
Mark your calendars! The second edition of A Viking’s Challenge will be taking place on March 6, 2021.
Last March, Chris Isfeld ran 30km across frozen Lake Winnipeg and raised almost $20,000 for melanoma patients! Building on last year’s enormous success, Chris invites you to join A Viking’s Challenge this year by running a distance of your choice anywhere in Canada.
Chris is a melanoma survivor. His story with cancer began in 2017 when he was diagnosed with advanced melanoma. He was given lifesaving immunotherapy treatment just in time. The treatment was challenging but it proved to be effective. The cancer stopped growing and the side effects became more manageable over the next few months. Soon, he was walking again. By December 2018, just one year after his melanoma diagnosis, he was lacing up his running shoes again.
The results of his latest PET/CT scan, on November 2, 2019, show an almost complete metabolic response; he is well on the way to becoming NED (No Evidence of Disease).
Chris had been frequently running and practicing yoga to overcome the physical and emotional anguish he was feeling.
In an interview with Global News, he said:
“A friend of mine, Shawn Bjornsson from Winnipeg, posted a photo after he did a 5K run in -40, and for some reason, I just made a comment and said, ‘Hey, I’ll race you across the lake,’ just as a joke, But a week later, I thought about it, and thought, ‘You know what, this is an absolutely great idea.’
“It gives me something to focus on, and obviously with my diagnosis, I had gotten to know the people at Save Your Skin Foundation very well, and decided that I should do it as a fundraiser and raise money for them.”
True to their Viking roots, they didn’t back down from a challenge. On March 7, 2020, they ran about 30 km from Grand Beach, Manitoba to Gimli, Manitoba, raising almost $20,000 for Save Your Skin Foundation. Read more about last year’s race here.
This Year’s Challenge
Last year’s race was a personal challenge for Chris and his friend Shawn, but since so many expressed an interest in joining the challenge in future years, Chris has decided to open the challenge up to the general public this year. Because of the pandemic, the event will take place virtually, allowing participants to run any distance they choose from any location in Canada and beyond. To participate, runners will have to register and make a one-time donation to Save Your Skin Foundation. More details will be coming soon but, in the mean time, lace up those running shoes, put on your helmet and start channeling your inner Viking!
There are dangerous misconceptions surrounding the safety of tanning. For this reason, we set out to uncover the science behind tanning and understand the truth behind 5 common tanning myths.
MYTH #1: Tanning Beds Are Safer Than the Sun
The best way to understand why tanning beds are more harmful than regular sun exposure is to break down the tanning process. First, when individuals spend time outdoors the sun’s UV rays dig into their skin and break through the skin’s protective layers. In response to this, the skin fights back with specialized skin cells known as melanocytes. The melanocytes release the pigment melanin which causes the tanned appearance. Unfortunately, sometimes the impact of UV rays can become too much for the skin cells to handle and sunburns form as a result. This impact by the UV rays damages the DNA in skin cells and overtime this can also lead to cases of skin cancer and a vulnerable immune system.[efn_note]For more information on the science behind tanning see “Tanning (for Teens)” by Nemours KidsHealth, https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/tanning.html[/efn_note] With this in mind, if individuals use tanning beds they are subjecting their skin to this damage at a greater frequency than if they were to spend time in the direct sunlight. To solidify this, the World Health Organization has placed tanning beds in the highest cancer risk category.
MYTH #2: A Base Tan Provides Adequate Sun Protection
For many years, the theory that a base tan will provide sun protection has tempted individuals to hit the tanning beds before summer vacation. The idea behind this is that the base tan will reduce the chance of sunburning by preparing the skin for a battle in the sun.[efn_note]For more information on base tans see “10 Surprising Facts About Indoor Tanning” by the American Academy of Dermatology Association, https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/surprising-facts-about-indoor-tanning[/efn_note]However, it has been discovered that if a base tan were measured on the SPF scale it would be equivalent to a sun protection factor of between two and four.[efn_note]For more information on tanning safety see “Indoor Tanning Is Out” by the Canadian Dermatology Association, https://dermatology.ca/public-patients/sun-protection/indoor-tanning-is-out/[/efn_note] It has been recommended that individuals wear sunscreen with an SPF of thirty so just by merely examining these numbers it is clear a base tan is not nearly enough protection. In addition to this, the base tan would be exposing the skin to the known damage of tanning beds which is more dangerous than protective. The lack of evidence to support the base tan theory confirms it is not the best route and the best sun protection is still sunscreen, sunglasses and sun safety apparel.[efn_note]For further information on base tans see “A Healthy Base Tan?” by Forefront Dermatology, https://forefrontdermatology.com/heathy-base-tan/[/efn_note]
MYTH #3: Extra Sun Exposure Is Necessary for Vitamin D Levels
It is a common fact that Vitamin D is associated with healthy bones, but Vitamin D can be obtained more easily than most people think. There is no need to spend a prolonged amount of time in the sun to soak up the sought after vitamin. It can be acquired through eating foods abundant in Vitamin D like salmon, tuna and egg yolks. Milk sold at grocery stores is also enriched with Vitamin D to reduce the chance of bone health concerns. In addition to this, after consulting a doctor, and if deemed appropriate, there are Vitamin D supplement options. This being said, the amount of time individuals spend outside naturally is sufficient in increasing Vitamin D levels, making a lengthy time outdoors for that specific purpose unnecessary.[efn_note] For more information on Vitamin D see “Vitamin D Myths ‘D’-bunked” by Yale Medicine, https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/vitamin-d-myths-debunked/[/efn_note]
MYTH #4: Sunscreen Is Unnecessary While Under Cover
There exists a common misconception that being under shade protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. The issue with this is that although individuals may not be in the direct line of the UV rays they can still be indirectly affected when the sun’s rays reflect off of other surfaces. For example, it is common to sit under an umbrella for shade during a day at the beach but the sun can still reflect off of the water and sand. On top of this, it can be difficult to always remain completely covered under an umbrella or shaded area because the sun moves quickly. For these reasons it is safest to still apply sunscreen for full coverage.[efn_note]For more information on the use of sunscreen see “Healthy Skin: Made in the Shade?” by the Skin Cancer Foundation, https://www.skincancer.org/blog/healthy-skin-made-in-the-shade/[/efn_note]
MYTH #5: Tanning Achieves Perfect Skin
The results of a tan can appear to cause skin to look radiant and remove the sign of blemishes. In fact, tanning the skin only temporarily creates this effect and it is well known that every tan creates varying levels of skin damage.Sun exposure is the most common cause of skin damage and wrinkling. Exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight causes changes to the skin. In addition to fine lines and wrinkles, UV damage causes brown spots and pigment irregularity, as well as broken capillaries and red blotches.[efn_note]For more information on skin damage by sun esposure see “Wrinkles” by the Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/wrinkles[/efn_note]In light of this, as tempting as it may be, a tan is not needed to achieve perfect skin. Skin care is about keeping skin healthy and not trying to make it look flawless. The skin functions and protects the human body in so many ways which is why it is important to take care of it. The best way to do this is to practice sun safety while outdoors and steer clear of tanning beds.