2 in 5
1 in 3
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada. While it affects mostly the elderly, more and more teenagers and young adults are also getting skin cancer. Its incidence is increasing rapidly, in spite of the fact that most skin cancer is preventable. The actual extent of the crisis is, however, not really known due to a lack of statistic-gathering resources.
The Division of Dermatology is essential to the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, serving as a primary dermatological malignancy treatment centre and an adjunctive diagnostic centre aiding in the diagnosis of other malignancies.
“The Skin Cancer Centre and National Tumour Registry will lead the way in the fight against this growing disease for the ultimate benefit of thousands of people in our community and beyond who deserve the best care there is.”
– Dr. Manish Khanna, Director, Dermatology Oncology
at the Segal Cancer Centre
95% of all skin cancers are curable, but only if they are detected and treated early enough. The JGH is doing its part and is among a handful of hospitals in Canada to perform Mohs micrographic surgery – a specialized technique for the surgical removal of high-risk skin cancer that offers the highest cure rate for non-melanoma skin cancer (the most common form of skin cancer) while conserving as much unaffected tissue as possible and can significantly decrease mortality and improve quality of life compared to other, more conventional therapies. The rate of cure of these tumors using this procedure is 99%. Unfortunately, with its current limited resources, the Division cannot keep up with the growing demand for its services and even less address the urgent need for prevention and early detection.
The creation of a Skin Cancer Centre at the JGH will provide a sustainable solution and make a huge difference in preventing skin cancer and increasing survival and quality of life for those who develop the disease. The Centre will consolidate specialized resources and the expertise of healthcare providers in an effort to address the growing need for research, prevention and treatment of skin cancer and comprehensive patient care in our community and beyond. It will comprise one-day surgery suites, a pathology lab, a private waiting area for patients and their families, a microscope reading room, exam rooms, a clean utility room and a dirty utility room – all of which are required to provide optimal working conditions to perform Mohs surgery efficiently and safely and meet the growing demand. Creation of the Centre will include the hiring of two full-time nurses, including a pivot nurse who will coordinate care and provide support to patients and their families through the entire process. It will also support clinical research to help prevent and treat basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of skin cancer, and melanoma, which is the most common lethal type of skin cancer.
For its part, the creation of the National Skin Cancer Tumour Registry at the JGH will provide Canada with a breakthrough program with which to better follow and analyze trends in skin cancer, which will ultimately lead to more targeted and successful treatments.
The Skin Cancer Clinic at the JGH
Of creating a Centre for Skin Cancer
Of Mohs surgery