Vinyl Cafe host Stuart McLean has cancelled the remainder of his Christmas tour this year because he has been diagnosed with melanoma.
In a post on Facebook and the website for the CBC Radio program, McLean said all remaining shows after Sunday in Thunder Bay, Ont., will be cancelled.
The treatment is, as my wonderful doctor describes it, the poster child of cancer therapy. - Stuart McLean
"I have just learned that I have melanoma. I begin therapy next week," McLean said in the post online early Saturday.
"This is not quite as ominous as it sounds (or not as ominous as it sounded to me). Melanoma, which was once a deadly diagnosis, has, over the last couple of years, become eminently treatable. The treatment is, as my wonderful doctor describes it, the poster child of cancer therapy."
McLean's doctor said he can expect an 85 per cent chance for a positive outcome from the immunotherapy treatment he'll be receiving.
In particularly humble fashion, McLean said he expects "to reconvene next Christmas, as we would have this year had it not been for my extraordinarily bad timing."
McLean said he considered doing the tour while undergoing treatment, but worried the side-effects may keep him from being "my best self."
"I know this is a disappointment to those of you who are looking forward to the show. It is a disappointment to me too. It feels like I invited everyone to dinner and am calling to say the party's off. I don't know what to say except I am sorry."
Originally scheduled for 16 sets after the Thunder Bay show, McLean's tour would have taken him to Seattle, Wash., into Western Canada — including stops in Saskatoon on Dec. 1 and Regina on Dec. 2 — and on to Ontario and Quebec, ending in Montreal on Dec. 22.
McLean said ticket-holders will receive refunds through the purchasing outlet, starting on Tuesday.
Since 1998, McLean has toured with the Vinyl Cafe show to theatres across Canada and the United States. The show is recorded in front of a live audience, and then broadcast on CBC across Canada during the weekend.
Sirius Satellite Radio has picked up the show, as have public radio stations in the U.S., along with the BBC in England.
McLean has also written 10 Vinyl Cafe books since 1995.
Melanoma a fast-rising cancer
The Canadian Cancer Society says melanoma — one of the many forms of skin cancer — is one of the fastest-rising yet one of the most preventable types of cancer.
Here are some other facts about skin cancer, from the society:
- It's the most common form of cancer in Canada.
- The main risk factor is overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as the UV rays coming from the sun and from tanning beds.
- An estimated 6,500 new cases of malignant melanoma and another 76,100 cases of non-melanoma skin cancers were expected to be diagnosed in 2014 alone.
- Melanoma is the most dangerous form of the disease, with around 1,000 deaths reported in a year.
- Preventing skin cancer can be done by taking steps such as using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing and seeking shade.