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Cancer Patients Receive Unequal Treatment Depending on Stage or Postal Code

Before I was diagnosed with stage IIIb melanoma in 2014, I had no idea how cancer care worked in our country. I did not know that it takes months for a drug therapy to be approved by Health Canada, nor was I aware that once it is approved at the federal level, our varied provinces and territories have their own processes and financing guidelines for local approval. Once the fate of a certain treatment is decided in a given province, it is still not a guarantee that a patient can receive it.


Melanoma claimed the lives of 1,150 Canadians last year. Despite this, personal anecdotes and online dialogue suggest that Canadians do not take skin cancer seriously. Images and posts about excessive tanning have become increasingly prevalent on social media, with hashtags such as #SkinCancerHereICome and #SkinCancerDontCare, illustrating that for some, skin cancer is viewed as a slight danger rather than a life-threatening reality. Melanoma Network of Canada (MNC) and Save Your Skin (SYS)