Sun safety sounds cute, but skin cancer is killer
It’s the time of year when we all head outside to enjoy the sunshine, and you’re probably bombarded with sun safety rules around every corner. Nevertheless, people are still skipping the sunscreen and forgetting their hats and more and more people are being diagnosed with skin cancer.
Read on to see what their Executive Director, Shelley Franklin, had to say about protecting your epidermis.
The David Cornfield Melanoma Fund was established in 2007 in memory of David, who passed away at the young age of 32 from melanoma. We are devoted to saving lives from melanoma by promoting awareness of this potentially deadly disease.
Melanoma is a common and serious skin cancer which, if not treated early, is usually fatal. The good news is that the risk of melanoma can be significantly decreased by reducing exposure to UV radiation and the prognosis for melanoma patients can be improved by early detection. The bad news is that despite increasing public awareness of the dangers of UV radiation, many people still do not understand the seriousness of the damage caused by exposure to UV radiation, particularly damage caused during early years.
Not enough people are aware of the early signs of melanoma or the importance of self detection. As a result, melanoma is often ignored until it’s too late. We believe that through David’s story we can bring change and reduce the incidence of melanoma via prevention and early self-detection as well as improve the prognoses through education and research into the disease.
Did you know?*
- One in seven Canadians will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
- Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, one of the most rapidly increasing cancers in Canada, and the second most common Cancer in young adults.
- Education, resources, and treatments are extremely limited.
Why is Sun Safety Important?
While some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, too much can be dangerous. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight can result in painful sunburn. It can also lead to more serious health effects like skin cancer, cataracts, and immune suppression. Children particularly need sun protection education since unprotected exposure to the sun during youth puts them at an increased lifetime risk for skin cancer.
What can I do?
No cancer–including melanoma–can ever be prevented with 100 per cent certainty. However, the good news is that the risk factors for melanoma are well known, so just a few easy steps can be taken to dramatically reduce your risk of developing this deadly disease.
- Always have sunscreen with you so you can apply it whenever an unplanned outdoor activity arises;
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 whenever you are outdoors (even on cloudy or wintery days – harmful rays are still present in the winter months and can permeate clouds);
- Wear protective clothing with long sleeves and wear hats and sunglasses;
- Check for changes in moles, new moles and see you doctor right away if you see anything suspicious;
- Limit sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm; and,
- Refrain from using tanning beds.
For more information on Melanoma, check out the Tools section at dcmf.ca.
*Source: The Canadian Cancer Society