“Melanoma is now the seventh most common cancer in Canada and the fourth most common in people aged 18 to 29,” the Save Your Skin Foundation founder told the council.
As the sunny days of summer approach, a British Columbia-based nonprofit is reminding Canadians to protect themselves and each other from skin cancer.
The Save Your Skin Foundation, a patient-led organization that connects skin cancer patients with medical resources across the country, recently submitted a delegation to City Council to spread awareness of the different types of skin cancer and preventative measures that Canadians should consider.
The non-profit organization was founded in 2006 by Cathy Barnard, a stage 4 malignant melanoma survivor.
“I would never have imagined that my days as a kid in our local lakes and oceans, and my days at diamond softball would have been so deadly to me,” Barnard said. “I was very fortunate to have had the only treatment that was available to me in Canada.”
Barnard said her son had been in touch with a doctor from the United States who wanted a clinical trial for her in Canada, but Barnard had to find a willing facility to administer the treatment.
“I was fortunate to find my neighboring province of Alberta welcoming me with open arms,” she said. “I’ve had two clinical trials there on empathic access, and I’ve been clear since 2007.”
The non-profit organization now works on skin cancer advocacy and prevention, while also helping patients find the resources they need for treatment.
“What I think makes us so unique is that we have the ability to help navigate patients across the country,” she said. “Ocular melanoma is now on the rise. We only have two provinces in Canada where the treatment is available under compassionate use, one in Ontario and one in Alberta.”
“When ocular melanoma patients are diagnosed, their treating physician will send them to our institution and we will literally, financially and emotionally transport them to the center they need to get care, so we will pay for their flights and accommodations…whatever it takes for that patient to have timely access to medication. “.
In her appeal, Barnard urged Canadians to take preventive measures, such as wearing at least 30 sunscreen, wearing UV protective clothing, limiting exposure to sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and seeking medical attention for any skin abnormalities. Appear.
“Skin cancer is now the seventh most common cancer in Canada and the fourth most common in people aged 18 to 29,” she said. “It’s one of the few cancers that has an increased incidence among Canadians.”
“Early detection and prevention is key in this type of cancer. No cancer, including skin cancer, is preventable with 100 percent certainty,” she said. “The good news with regard to skin cancer is that the risk factors are well known, So steps can be taken to significantly reduce the risk of developing this disease.”
Barnard said she plans to follow in Australia’s footsteps and start advocating for infrastructure that can help protect Canadians from the sun.
“I follow a lot of the work that they do in Australia because we know the incidence of skin cancer in Australia is very, very high,” she said. “They are starting to change their lunch hours; they make sure their playgrounds are protected.”
“If you would like a chance to work with me on some of these types of projects, I would be very happy. This year I would like to run some pilot projects with sun canopies, and see if we can shade two or three facilities, (so when we ask people Out of the sun, we have a place for them to go.”
being. Mason Ainsworth said he would be interested in working with Barnard to get shade structures installed in Orillia’s outdoor recreation areas.
“I will definitely take you up on your offer regarding the help of shadow structures,” he said. “We had a great discussion in the city of Aurelia, whether it was about the solid infrastructure within our gardens of handcrafted shade structures, or having people… bringing in their own smaller shade structures.
“In the long run, investing in that infrastructure is a lot cheaper for us than getting these people to go through the health care system themselves,” he said.
More information about the Save Your Skin Foundation can be found here.