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sun and cancer

Sun and Cancer Awareness
by Trudi

The May long weekend is known as the unofficial beginning of summer. Longer days and sunnier weather attracts us outside. Public pools open all over the lower mainland. In our excitement to enjoy the outdoors, we may forget to take time to protect ourselves and our family from the dangers of the sun. Your skin is the body’s largest organ. Most skin cancers are preventable.


Why Should I Care About Skin Cancer?

  • The chance of developing skin cancer in British Columbia is about 1 in 7
  • The chance of developing melanoma in British Columbia is about 1 in 100
  • Skin cancer can kill you
  • All skin cancers need to be treated and that involves surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Removal of skin cancer can leave you scarred for life
  • Aside from skin cancer, the sun causes wrinkling, sagging skin, freckles, moles and cataracts.



How many people get skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 76,600 cases of skin cancer in 2013. In 2010, there were 75,500 new cases of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the second most common cancer in young people.

The American Cancer Society says that you can remember how to protect yourself from UV rays, the dangerous rays from the sun, with the phrase “Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap!”

         Slip on a shirt

         Slop on sunscreen

         Slap on a hat

         Wrap on sunglasses

The American Cancer Society has an awareness campaign in May called Don’t Fry Day on Friday, May 24th, 2013.

Other Sun safety information

Along with promoting Don’t Fry Day, the Society recommends these sun safe behaviors for all people every day:

  • Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sun, especially when the sun’s rays are most intense, generally from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing when you’re out in the sun, including long sleeves; sunglasses; and a hat that shades your face, neck, and ears.
  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on all skin that isn’t covered.
  • Protect your skin even on cool or cloudy days.

The American Cancer Society also promotes early detection of skin cancer in adults through regular skin self-exams, and an examination for skin cancer should be part of periodic health exams.



Take the sun safety quiz from the American Cancer Society to test your sun knowledge:


There is more information and another quiz on the interactive website at


Summer is coming. Take the time to protect yourself and your family before you go and enjoy our great outdoors.


(May 26, 2013)

Visit Last Week's Feature: Summer Program at Pearson Adult Learning Centre

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