The Importance of Skin Checks: Encouraging Canadians to
Practice Skintimacy™

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Melanoma is the most invasive type of skin cancer with the highest risk of death.1 With an estimated 9,000 Canadians diagnosed in 2022,2 melanoma can present a serious health concern for Canadians. 

While melanoma develops primarily on areas that are exposed to the sun, including the head, neck, back, and legs, it can happen anywhere on the skin.3,4 More than this, melanoma may present differently in people of colour, and sometimes appears on the palms of the hands, under the nails, or the soles of the feet.5

The good news is that when the disease is detected early, cure rates can reach more than 90%.6 

As melanoma can be visibly identified,7 it is important for Canadians to recognize the signs and symptoms of melanoma to help support early diagnosis.

What does it mean to Practice Skintimacy™?

Research shows that partners and loved ones can play an important role in the early detection of melanoma.8 Canadians are encouraged to Practice Skintimacy ™ by getting up-close-and-personal with their skin and having their loved ones help them perform regular skin checks.

Performing a self-examination of your skin once a month is recommended to help detect changes to your skin.9 Leading cancer organizations like Melanoma Canada and the Save Your Skin Foundation recommend that Canadians conduct regular and thorough skin checks to help support earlier detection of skin cancer.10,11

How Canadians can Practice Skintimacy™ at home

It’s easy to Practice Skintimacy™ with a few simple household items that can help Canadians engage their loved ones to do this exercise, together. To create a Practice Skintimacy™ toolkit, gather the following items:

  • A ruler to measure the size of your moles
  • A handheld mirror to look at the hard-to-see places
  • A comb to get a good look at the scalp

You can conduct your skin check by following the ABCDEs of melanoma and assess moles for signs of asymmetry, border irregularities, colour, diameter and evolution, and be sure to repeat this skin check each month.

Learn more about how to check for some of the signs and symptoms of melanoma at home at

Merck’s Commitment to Oncology

At Merck Canada, our commitment to Canadians living with cancer is unwavering. We recognize that to have the greatest impact, we need to be working with the entire oncology community, including patient support groups and healthcare practitioners, to address the growing burden of cancer. This means aiding in prevention, encouraging early detection, and participating in on-going research and innovation.


1  Cleveland Clinic. Melanoma. Available at:,red%20hair%20and%20blue%20eyes.
2  Canadian Cancer Society. Melanoma skin cancer statistics. Available at:,770%20will%20die%20from%20it.
3 Mayo Clinic. Melanoma. Available at:
4  American Cancer Society. What is Melanoma Skin Cancer. Available at:
5 Melanoma Canada. Skin of Colour. Available at:
6 Canadian Dermatology Association. Melanoma. Available at:
7 Melanoma Canada. How to Detect Melanoma. Available at:
8 Canadian Dermatology Association. Melanoma. Available at:
9 Canadian Dermatology Association. Melanoma. Available at:
10 Save Your Skin Foundation. Skin Check Guide. Available at:
11 Melanoma Canada. How to Detect Melanoma. Available at