Tasmanian skin cancer patients to benefit from increased prevention and awareness campaigns, and bolstered melanoma support services.

Skin Cancer Tasmania has today announced its merger with Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), providing strengthened local support services in Tasmania for melanoma patients and their families.

Founder of Skin Cancer Tasmania, Dianne Mason, was joined in Hobart for the merger announcement by Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia, Professor Richard Scolyer AO.

The merger will see Melanoma Institute Australia help to bolster access to melanoma support services for melanoma patients and their families in Tasmania as well as increase melanoma awareness and prevention, and expand opportunities for local clinicians to access leading melanoma education and research.

Dianne Mason has commenced as State Manager – Tasmania for Melanoma Institute Australia and is excited about the future of patient services in the state.

‘Skin Cancer Tasmania started off its journey as Melanoma Tasmania back in 2014 as a way of honouring my mum, Judy Shelton, who passed away from the disease in 2004 after only an eight-week battle,’ Dianne Mason said. ‘Back then, there were very few treatment options for advanced melanoma patients. However, under the global research and clinical leadership of Melanoma Institute Australia, more than 50% of advanced melanoma patients are now being saved.

‘I am delighted that this merger will give melanoma patients and their families throughout Tasmania access to increased support services, as well as the opportunity to benefit from MIA’s world-leading research and clinical education.’

Australia has the highest melanoma rates in the world with one Australian dying from the disease every six hours. It is also the most common cancer impacting 20 to 39-year-old Australians.

Professor Scolyer, who himself hails from Launceston, said the merger would ensure added resources for melanoma prevention and treatment across Tasmania.

‘Melanoma is a national problem which requires a national solution, and we are delighted to have merged with Skin Cancer Tasmania, which forms part of our strategy to support melanoma patients nationally,’ Professor Scolyer said. ‘Importantly, for patients in Tasmania, we are already planning how best to improve access to important melanoma support services and to help increase clinical education locally,’

‘Prevention is always better than a cure. The merger will also see increased investment in local community awareness and prevention campaigns, which the Tasmania team will deliver under  Dianne’s expert and passionate guidance.’

The Melanoma Institute Australia – Tasmania office at Level 1, 162 Macquarie St Hobart will be open 9am – 5pm Tuesday to Friday.

See more about MIA Tasmania