Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers worldwide. A little known fact is that in Canada, melanoma is one of the top seven most frequent cancers. In Canada, incidences of melanoma have more than tripled in the last 30 years and continue to rise. Over 1000 Canadians will die from melanoma each year. Survival rates are high if melanoma is detected early.

Melanoma is a very serious form of skin cancer. It is a cancer of the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that is primarily responsible for giving skin its colour. When skin is exposed to UV light, these skin cells make more melanin. Unlike other cancers, melanoma can often be seen on the skin. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin. In men, melanoma may often be found on the head, neck, and back. In women, melanoma may often be found on the back or lower legs. Melanoma forms in the epidermis and can grow down into the dermis.

But there is hope! Donors and volunteers make a huge impact in the lives of those affected by melanoma and skin cancer, funding vital research, patient support programs and awareness education. There are many notable foundations that work closely with patients and family members, assisting by providing information and resources for treatment and reaching over 1,200 patients with education sessions presented across the country.

The Melanoma Network of Canada is the forefront national organization for melanoma and skin cancer outreach and patient support. They offer unparalleled opportunities to support melanoma education, awareness and advocacy. For anyone who wants to learn more and create a future without melanoma, visit their website.

The Canadian Cancer Society also has a wealth of information on different types of cancer, including melanoma. Visit their website to get information on cancer in general, support and services, prevention and screening, or to get involved in one of the many fundraising campaigns that they do.