Immediate access to both treatments critical to help save lives
MONTREAL, Nov. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Save Your Skin Foundation is pleased that the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Réjean Hébert, has taken a major step forward for patients with metastatic melanoma with the announcement of the decision to fund two new treatments (Yervoy and Zelboraf). This decision is the latest good news announcement for the melanoma community and follows the recent implementation of funding for these latest treatments by a number of provinces.
"This decision is positive news for patients in Quebec whose disease has advanced," said Kathy Barnard, President of the Save Your Skin Foundation and a melanoma patient herself. "The critical piece is ensuring access right away for both treatments so melanoma patients can receive the most suitable treatment as recommended by their doctor and they can focus on fighting their cancer - not the system."
At present, the governments of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have implemented funding for Yervoy and Zelboraf for patients in those provinces.
"For some patients, delay in accessing these latest advances for the treatment of metastatic melanoma can mean the difference between life and death," said Dr. Wilson H. Miller, James McGill Professor in the Departments of Oncology and Medicine at McGill University. "The Quebec government decision is very promising and we are hopeful that hospitals are able to implement it as soon as possible. There are many promising developments in melanoma and these treatments are key to enabling us to treat patients to the best possible level."
About Melanoma in Canada
Every year, thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with melanoma, with the incidence of the disease increasing faster than that of any other cancer. Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) located in the skin. One in 74 men and 1 in 90 women are expected to develop melanoma during their lifetime; 1 in 284 men and 1 in 486 women will die of it. Melanoma is clearly visible on the skin, and 90 per cent of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV light, including tanning beds.
About the Save Your Skin Foundation
The Save Your Skin Foundation is a Canadian not-for-profit foundation. Through events and other initiatives, the Foundation focuses on: raising funds for education and awareness, providing emotional and financial support to those dealing with melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, and on supporting the ongoing research and treatment of skin cancer - especially melanoma. The Save Your Skin Foundation is a member of the Coalition Priorité Cancer au Québec.
For more information, please visit www.saveyourskin.ca.
SOURCE: Save Your Skin Foundation