Why we’re taking steps this Melanoma March

Aussies urged to step up to support country’s first clinical trial into assessing and treating “fear of cancer recurrence” for advanced melanoma patients.

Melanoma March events across the country to fund ground-breaking clinical trial into psychological stresses experienced by advanced melanoma patients

Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) is calling on all Australians to join its 2023 Melanoma March campaign to support the psychological health and wellbeing of their fellow Aussies living with advanced cancer.

Now in its 12th year, MIA’s 2023 Melanoma March campaign needs to raise $1 million for Australia’s first clinical trial aimed to treat fear of cancer recurrence experienced by those with advanced disease. The trial will focus on identifying and supporting advanced melanoma patients experiencing fear and anxiety about their melanoma recurring or progressing, with the findings also set to benefit other cancer patients.

‘Supportive care is one of the top five priorities identified in the landmark State of the Nation Report into Melanoma,’ Melanoma Institute Australia CEO Matthew Browne said. ‘Some 40% of patients reported experiencing anxiety around their diagnosis and treatment, with one in two also reporting that anxiety and depression were not identified in routine clinical practice which was a barrier to them accessing support services.’

‘This Australian first clinical trial, led by senior clinical researchers at MIA, aims to ensure the emotional needs of cancer patients are recognized and addressed as part of their routine clinical care.’

Australia has the highest melanoma rates in the world, with one person diagnosed every 30 minutes and one person dying from the disease every 6 hours. It is the most common cancer affecting 20-39 year old Australians. Currently, 50% of advanced melanoma patients don’t respond or become resistant to new immunotherapy treatments.

‘Supportive care research will give current and future patients a chance to have the best quality of life possible, by identifying the psychological stresses they face and ensuring they have access to appropriate support services,’ Mr Browne said. ‘The clinical trial findings will not be unique to melanoma patients, with the outcomes also likely to benefit other advanced cancer patients.’

Melanoma March events will be held in every state and territory during March 2023. Organised by volunteer committees impacted by melanoma, they raise vital funds for melanoma research as well as provide an opportunity for patients and families to come together to support each other and remember those lost to the disease.

Currently, there are 21 Melanoma March events planned for 2023. Those who can’t attend an event can still support the campaign by getting active and hosting a March Your Way activity with friends or individually.

Register now