Francais
info@saveyourskin.ca

survivorship

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.

 

Read more

WEBINAR: Latest news on melanoma/skin cancer/ocular melanoma from ASCO 2022

(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.

Click HERE to view the recording

 

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.

Cliquez ici pour le webinaire

Read more

SYSF Holiday Party 2021

You’re Invited!

Sunday, December 19th at 5pm PT / 8pm ET

 

This party will be hosted in our custom Topia virtual world, with lots of festive activities and surprises. This party is for all patients, family members and friends of the Foundation.

Come in your most festive apparel with your favourite holiday beverage!

Instructions for how to join the party

On Dec 19th, click here to start the party: 

https://topia.io/save-your-skin-foundation

What you’ll need:

  • A computer or a tablet – You’ll need a Windows or Mac desktop or laptop computer equipped with a camera, or a Android Tablet or Ipad.
  • For the best experience on Android tablets please use “desktop mode” in Chrome.
  • A supported web browser – Topia works best on Google Chrome, Edge, and Brave on desktop and laptop computers. For best results we recommend using one of these three browsers.
  • Headphones/ear buds – There is ambient sound in Topia which is personal to you. Headphones ensure a great experience. Without headphones, higher volume can result in feedback for other guests or mixed sounds which isn’t fun for anyone.

How to join:

  • On December 19 at 5pm PT | 8pm ET, click on this link to join: https://topia.io/save-your-skin-foundation. Don’t bother trying to go on beforehand as it will not be available.
  • When you first go in, you will be asked to choose a display name.
  • Your browser will ask for permission to use your camera and audio. If you have Zoom/Teams/Skype open you won’t be able to do this, so please make sure they’re closed first.

What to do once you’re in:

  • You can move around the space using either mouse clicks or your arrow cursor buttons.
  • You hear and see people better the closer you are to their little “Topi,” or person.
  • If you walk away from people you hear and see them less. People “fade out” as they get farther away.
  • As you explore, notice when your cursor turns into a pointer. This indicates that the object your mouse is on has a function. Click to interact with the object.

See you there!!

Read more

#InItTogether Campaign – Melanoma Is Personal

We’ve teamed up with Hayley Wickenheiser again this year to bring awareness to those coping with a melanoma diagnosis.  Summer is here, but if you’re not protecting yourself from the sun, the damage can be far-reaching. Melanoma is one of the top 10 cancers diagnosed in Canada and getting a diagnosis can be scary. Arming yourself with the right information you can literally change the course of your melanoma experience.

Ask about your mutation type. Do your research to find out your options. And know you are not alone in this.

Some Patients, Survivors, and Caregivers from the Save Your Skin Foundation family have come together share their story to inspire education and hope.

“I am newly diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma, and I plan to survive it.” – SHERI

“My melanoma came back, but I’m not letting fear in.” – BOB

“I was in end-of-life care when my doctor recommended I take part in a clinical trial.” – MIKE

“Learning that my melanoma was BRAF+ was a huge weight off my shoulders. That knowledge shaped my path through the disease.” – COLIN

“Melanoma research literally saved my life. Today I’m surrounded with the support of the melanoma community and I know they have my back.” – NATALIE

Check out this article in Elle magazine, dedicated to Canadians who have their own personal melanoma stories: 

ELLE Canada – Summer is Back ~ Do you know what you need to know about melanoma?

Check out these “Melanoma is Personal” videos on YouTube   And click here to see more clips on the SYSF youTube channel

Read more

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

 

Read more

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!

 

Read more

Join Our Monthly Patient Support Chats

On the first Thursday of every month, Save Your Skin Foundation hosts an evening support chat for patients, survivors and caregivers touched by melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and ocular melanoma.  These chats are open discussions about life after a cancer diagnosis, including sharing experiences with varied treatment options, managing side effects, emotional and wellness support channels, navigating the health care system, and any other concern that patients and their families may have.  It is also a great opportunity to meet other patients and survivors from across Canada.

To reflect the supportive and informal nature of these chats, we’ve decided to give them a new look and name! Anyone can join for free by phone by calling the toll-free number, or by logging in to the online option on computer, tablet or smartphone anywhere wifi is available.

Try it out on our next chat – 5pm PT | 8pm ET | 9pm AT Thursday February 6 2020

Please join our meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Click HERE to join the discussion!

 

You can also dial in using your phone:
Toll-free in Canada: +1 (647) 497-9410- Access Code: 938-091-573

First GoToMeeting? Do a quick system check: https://link.gotomeeting.com/system-check

Still prefer one-on-one peer support? No problem – we are here for you. 

Email kathy@saveyourskin.ca OR call toll-free 1-800-460-5832

Read more

Click on our Advent Calendar for Daily Inspiration!

December can be a difficult month for those facing challenges in their lives. Every day until Christmas, we will be posting messages of Hope to help alleviate those winter blues. 

Check back every day for a new message of Inspiration

Click on each number below to view the message of the day:

 

                                 

                                  

                                    

                               

Read more

Celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day with Patients Who Know: #CancerChanged

Diagnosed with advanced melanoma in August 2015, Lyall Woznesensky has learned that every minute of every day is precious, and he thanks his family and friends for their care and support through his cancer experience.

In time to celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, June 4, 2017, four Canadian patients living with advanced cancer are sharing their stories to help bring awareness to the hope for survivorship that is more accessible in this day and age, due to innovative new medical treatments.  Through documentary-style photo essays, a new campaign called #CancerChanged will bring to life these stories, to highlight hope and survivorship through the lens of Canadian award-winning photojournalists.

 

#CancerChanged gives an authentic glimpse into the lives of people living longer with advanced cancer to foster hope, understanding and peer-to-peer support.  This series of photographs, anecdotes, and video interviews will be shared in the coming days across social media channels, and through the networks of oncology patient organizations which are part of the collective called CONECTed.

“This is a time of change and a time of hope. Cancer patients have been dreaming about hope — and now hope is real.” said Kathy Barnard, Member of CONECTed steering committee and President and Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation, the patient advocacy group that has led the creation of CONECTed.  “New advances in cancer treatment have changed the outlook for many cancer patients. This extended phase is what we call survivorship and it poses new challenges such as how patients transition from a terminal diagnosis to a redefined ‘normal’ life embracing quality time and hope.”  See press release here

Lyall is open about his experience since learning that he has advanced skin cancer, “It’s all about trying to help others if I can in any small way,” he says, candidly, of his participation in #CancerChanged and bringing awareness to melanoma in general.  Recently Lyall was a guest panelist on a webinar hosted by Save Your Skin Foundation: Living Beyond Cancer.  Click here to watch the webinar.

To see more of Lyall’s impactful story, please see his photo essay below.  To see all of the #CancerChanged stories, please visit the #CancerChanged website here.  Click here for more information about CONECTEd, and to read about National Cancer Survivors day, click here.

Lyall was also interviewed for this article in the Winnipeg Sun: Former Bomber Finds Perspective in Cancer Fight

And here:  “The Woz” jumps for joy after tackling cancer, Saskatoon StarPheonix.

Read more