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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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Launch of Free, Public Sunscreen Dispensers in Kelowna

Today marks the launch of two free, public sunscreen dispensers in key Kelowna hot spots. The project has been powered by Morgan’s Mole Patrol and Save Your Skin Foundation, with the support of the City of Kelowna.  Click here to read our press release.

In memory of her son Morgan Forshner, Karen Wells of Kelowna, started Morgan’s Mole Patrol Foundation to spread awareness about the importance of sun safety. Her aim is to stop the spread of melanoma, a largely preventable cancer – with the application of some sun smart behaviour.  Karen reached out to Kathy Barnard of Save Your Skin Foundation in the initiative, and quickly a partnership was born.

This launch is just the beginning of Karen and Kathy’s plan to install many more dispensers in Kelowna and all over British Columbia.  Stay tuned for news!

First located at the Kelowna’s Visitor Centre downtown, and the Kelowna Golf & Country Club, the dispensers are automatic and touchless, and will provide free, Health Canada approved SPF 30 sunscreen for anyone who needs it. The dispensers use SPF 30 sunscreen, free from known dangerous ingredients such as parabens, oxybenzone, retinyl palminate, phthalate, PEG, parfume, and sodium lauryl sulphate.

Applying sunscreen is part of an overall sun-safe way to enjoy the outdoors. First, limit your time in the direct sunlight, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., seek shade, cover up by wearing long sleeves and pants and a wide-brimmed hat. Use sunscreen, specifically one labelled broad-spectrum, SPF 30, protect the lips with lip sunscreen or zinc oxide. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every two hours or after swimming.

Shoutout to David Cornfield Melanoma Fund, who first launched their sunscreen dispensers pilot in Toronto in 2017. Since then they continue to inspire us all with the growth of their program, totalling 50 dispensers in 2018, and they now have 75. Way to go!

Congratulations to Karen and her family, we know Morgan would feel honoured today.

 

 

 

 

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Melanoma Awareness Month – May 2019

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

May is Melanoma Awareness Month and it’s the perfect time of year to review a few easy steps we can all take to Be Sun Safe!

Spread Awareness

Join us in spreading the word about Melanoma Month by using one of our facebook banners as your cover photo! They are available for download HERE:

Sun Safety

Help us share the message about Sun Safety! Download our Sun Safety infographics by clicking on the images below and share with your friends and family!

      

Examine Your Skin

Learn how to perform a monthly skin self-exam!  When caught early, skin cancer is very treatable.

Patient Support

For those living with melanoma, support can be vital to the healing process. Save Your Skin Foundation provides a collection of resources as well as several ways for patients to connect with others or with private support. If you know someone touched by melanoma, please help them to connect with us.

We provide one-on-one support through Founder Kathy Barnard. We also provide support from other patients and survivors through our initiative “I’m Living Proof”

Click HERE for a summary of the ways you can connect with other patients, survivors, and caregivers touched by melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma.

Press Release

If you’re interested in what Save Your Skin is working on for Melanoma Awareness Month, check out our official press release, which includes vital information about melanoma rates in Canada, prevention and detection, and how to support those battling skin cancer.

Public Service Announcement

Click here to watch our new video cut about sun safety and skin cancer awareness:

 

 

Stay tuned for more updates throughout May – Melanoma Awareness Month!

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Canada Has A Skin Cancer Problem

This week marks the beginning of our support of the Euro Melanoma campaign: The World Has A Skin Cancer Problem.

While meeting with the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy last year in Australia in conjunction with the World Congress on Melanoma, we learned that the group in Europe (Euro Melanoma) who created this eye-catching campaign were inviting members of the Global Coalition to participate from their home countries.

This campaign will be a platform to explore and highlight the human and financial cost of skin cancer from a macro perspective – around the globe.  Through this conversation they will ask some important questions, about true incidence and mortality rates for all skin cancers, patient care pathways, and what is being done to address primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.  This campaign will highlight the scale of the skin cancer problem and position it as a national epidemic – together, we will awaken ‘the sleeping giant.’

Save Your Skin Foundation is proud to support and share this campaign to increase awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.  We thank Euro Melanoma for their hard work and collaboration, and we appreciate the sponsors and partners of the project.  Watch our social media channels for more on this initiative, and as always, feel free to contact us if you would like more information! info@saveyourskin.ca

About the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy: Click here to go to their introductory web page.  Save Your Skin is proud to be working with US-based Melanoma Research Foundation and the many other groups in the Coalition.  More on this is developing as we work together from our locations around the world to improve the lives of melanoma patients and their families.  Stay tuned!

 

 

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Updating the ABCDE’s of Skin Checks

We have long known that monthly skin self-examination is an important piece of a vigilant routine for a healthy life.  Everyone should check their own skin – and that of their loved ones – for any irregularities or atypical markings, lumps or bumps.  Early detection is key, and can make all the difference in the case of any melanoma OR non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosis.

At the World Congress of Melanoma last fall, we learned that there are two new letters in the traditional ABCDE’s of skin checking: F and G

F for Firmis the mole harder than the surrounding skin?

G for Growingis the mole gradually getting larger? 

As the alphabet of skin-checking grows, so does our awareness of the importance of the following:

 

A – Asymmetry. The shape of one half does not match the other half.

B – Border that is irregular. The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin.

C – Color that is uneven. Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.

D – Diameter. There is a change in size, usually an increase. Melanomas can be tiny, but most are larger than 6 millimeters wide (about 1/4 inch wide).

E – Evolving. The mole has changed over the past few weeks or months.

F – Firm

G – Growing

Save Your Skin Foundation has developed new post-card style brochures to share this information, which remind us of these helpful tips that could save the skin we’re in.  Check out the images below or on our downloadable resources page, and if you would like to receive some of these cards for your awareness or educational event, please contact info@saveyourskin.ca and we will send you some!

In the meantime, check your skin – all over! – and ask your doctor about any concerns you may have.

 

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The UV Index and You

If you ever need scientific motivation to put on sunscreen, let the UV index be your guide! As UV radiation is the greatest risk factor for the development of melanoma and other skin cancers, the UV Index is an important tool for sun safety and the prevention of skin cancers. The UV Index is dictated by the strength of UV rays in a particular area, along with the UV reflection off of snow and sand in that area. The UV index changes throughout the day, but is the highest (like the summer heat!) at midday.

The UV Index ranges generally ranges 1-11, though higher UV is possible on exceptionally hot days. As the chart below demonstrates, taking sun precautions are recommended for UV Index levels of 3 or higher. These precautions can include limiting your time in the sun or seeking shade, applying sunscreen, and wearing UV protective clothing, sunglasses, or a hat; don’t forget to reapply that sunscreen every two hours, and more frequently if you are swimming, exercising, or near reflective surfaces such as snow or sand! Because the UV Index is often indicative of heat, we also recommend keeping hydrated to avoid conditions such as heatstroke. When the UV Index reaches 6 or greater, it is officially a ‘high’ UV Index, and it is imperative that these sun safety precautions be followed.

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(“UV Index”, Canadian Cancer SocietyUV Index“, Web)

Referencing the UV Index so you know how to prepare for the day is simple, as there are several UV Index apps and websites! Life has a great list of UV Index apps which you can check out here.  If you want to look for the UV Index online, The Weather Network has a UV Index in its weather forecast, as does AccuWeather, and the Government of Canada website has a daily UV Index Forecast for many Canadian cities.

Now that you have the UV Index at your fingertips, there’s no excuse for not being exercising precautions when the UV Index is higher than 2! Thanks for reading, and stay sun safe out there!

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Sunshine, Vacations and UV Radiation. Know the Facts.

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When we think of sunshine and suntans, we usually think first of vacations. And while most of us, while on vacation, remember to apply sunscreen, we don’t always remember to do this at home. Rain, snow or shine, it’s always important to be sun safe. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, even though it is also one of the most preventable.

One in every three cancers diagnosed worldwide is a skin cancer, 80-90% of which are caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The most common sources of UV radiation on the skin are the sun and artificial tanning beds. Over 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year, more than 5,000 of which are melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Canadians born in the 1990s have two to three times higher lifetime risk of getting skin cancer (1 in 6) than those born in the late 1960s (1 in 20)[1]. There are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined!

Skin cancer is caused by overexposure of the skin to UV radiation, with the most common sources of UV radiation on the skin being the sun and artificial tanning beds.

In 2003 Kathleen Barnard, Founder and President of Save Your Skin Foundation Canada, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. Growing up as an outdoor athlete and enthusiast, she spent countless hours outdoors in the sun. She was unaware of the hazards of the sun and how to protect herself from harmful UV rays. Kathy is now one of few advanced melanoma survivors in Canada, and has made it her mission, through the work of her Foundation, to make others aware of the dangers of the sun and tanning beds, and to educate and promote better awareness of sun safety.

The Save Your Skin Foundation is a national registered not-for profit organization dedicated to the areas of skin cancer and skin disease with a focus on education and awareness, supporting research and ensuring equal and timely access to treatment for all Canadians.

No tan is a safe tan. Enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine, but do it safely. More information can be found on the Save Your Skin Foundation website.

Quick Links:

Sun Safety for Children

Be Sun Smart Infographic

The Facts – Skin Cancer & Melanoma

[1] Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation http://www.canadianskincancerfoundation.com/about-skin-cancer.html

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This weekend calls for a mix of sun and clouds…

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That’s the forecast for this weekend in Whistler, British Columbia. Many people will be heading to Whistler this weekend to get in some skiing. Conditions on the mountains couldn’t be better and it’s a winter wonderland from Village to Peak at North America’s #1 ski resort.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays, however, are 2.5 times more dangerous in snow than on the beach and skiers should make sure to stay sun safe on the slopes. Snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV radiation, which means that your UV dose is close to double what it would be otherwise. (By comparison, grass, soil, and water reflect less than 10 percent; dry beach sand 15 percent; and sea foam 25 percent, according to this UV fact sheet from the World Health Organization.) On top of that, UV exposure also increases by approximately 10 percent for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

When you’re out on the hill, both snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness, so you have to take extra precautions. To protect your skin from the cold, heavy winds and winter sun, follow these important sun safety tips:

  • Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly to all exposed skin – most skiers and snowboarders do not use enough. You should apply at least a teaspoon to the face.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher whenever you spend extended time outdoors. Apply 30 minutes before hitting the slopes. Be aware that the sun’s reflection off the snow is strong even on cloudy days (up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds).
  • Use a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients like lanolin or glycerin. Winter conditions can be particularly harsh on the skin.
  • Be sure to cover often-missed spots: the lips, ears, around the eyes, and on the neck, the underside of chin, scalp and hands.
  • Reapply every two hours, and immediately after heavy sweating.
  • Always wear a lip balm with an SPF 15 or higher – lips are very sensitive.
  • Carry a travel-sized sunscreen and lip balm with you on the slopes. Reapply on the chairlift, especially after a long, snow-blown run.
  • Cover your head – it will protect your scalp and help keep you warm.
  • Wear items like ski masks, which will leave very little skin exposed to the wind and sun.
  • Sunglasses or goggles that offer 99 percent or greater UV protection and have wraparound or large frames will protect your eyes, eyelids and the sensitive skin around your eyes, which are common sites for skin cancers and sun-induced aging. The sun’s glare can make you squint, so it’s important to wear sunglasses or goggles to clearly see the terrain. Plus, it will increase your enjoyment and may even improve your performance while skiing!
  • If possible, ski early in the morning and later on in the day, before 10 AM and after 4 PM. This decreases the amount of time spent outdoors in the most intense sunlight and helps you avoid long lines.
  • If you are on the slopes for most of the day, take a few breaks indoors to reapply sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

So, attention all skiers! Have fun on the slopes and play sun safe!

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