Melanoma Network of Canada hopeful with decision by Ontario and Saskatchewan to provide Yervoy to treat metastatic melanoma
OAKVILLE, ON, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The Melanoma Network of Canada is encouraged by the announcement that Ontario and Saskatchewan have agreed to provide access to Yervoy, a new treatment for metastatic melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer and is hopeful that other provinces will also make this new treatment available to patients as soon as possible.
"This is an excellent first step forward in ensuring that Canadians diagnosed with metastatic melanoma have access to the new therapies that could extend their lives," said Annette Cyr, Chair of the Melanoma Network of Canada. "We thank and congratulate the governments of Ontario and Saskatchewan and hope the other provinces will follow without delay. All patients in Canada deserve the same access to this critical treatment."
These first announcements are a clear message and an encouraging sign that provincial governments are taking melanoma very seriously. However, it will be even more encouraging if the other provinces follow quickly to make Yervoy available to patients. Canada-wide availability of this treatment would represent a big step forward in treating melanoma.
These sentiments were echoed by Dr. Anthony Joshua, a medical oncologist specializing in melanoma. "As physicians treating this deadly disease, we are in desperate need of government funding for effective new treatments such as Yervoy that can provide hope for patients and families dealing with this very difficult disease."
In the meantime, the Melanoma Network of Canada will continue its work to prevent this deadly disease, including advancing legislation across Canada to prohibit minors from using tanning beds.
Melanoma is one of the fastest-growing cancers worldwide, and can affect anyone regardless of sex, age or race. It is one of the most frequently-diagnosed cancers in Canada, expected to be diagnosed in 5,800 people in 2012 and cause 970 deaths.1
The incidence of melanoma has been increasing for the past 30 years,2 more rapidly among men than any other cancer, and more rapidly among women than any other cancer except lung cancer.3
About the Melanoma Network Canada (MNC)
Melanoma Network Canada (MNC) is a patient-led organization dedicated to the prevention and elimination of melanoma. MNC works in collaboration with medical professionals, health care agencies and other stakeholders to educate, advocate and fund for: early diagnosis and effective treatment of melanoma as well as providing education and awareness programs; and support for patients for an improved quality of life for those living with melanoma.
For information about melanoma or to get involved, please visit us at www.melanomanetwork.ca.
1 Melanoma Network of Canada. Facts Summary. Available at: http://melanomanetwork.ca/page.php?page=14. Accessed September 13, 2012.
2 Public Health Agency of Canada. Melanoma Skin Cancer Facts and Figures. Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/cancer/melanoma_skin_cancer_figures-cancer_peau_melanome_figures-eng.php. Accessed September 13 2012.
3 Horn-Ross, P.L., Holly, E.A., Brown, S.R., et al. Temporal trends in the incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma among Caucasians in the San Francisco-Oakland MSA. Canc Causes Contr.1991; 2(5):299-305.
SOURCE: Melanoma Network of Canada
For further information:
Annette Cyr, Chair
Melanoma Network of Canada