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May is Melanoma Awareness Month

If you're getting outside to enjoy the spring weather during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is another important health risk you need to be aware of: skin cancer. The City of Prince George joined 12 other B.C.
Sun WEB

If you're getting outside to enjoy the spring weather during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is another important health risk you need to be aware of: skin cancer.

The City of Prince George joined 12 other B.C. cities in proclaiming May as Melanoma Awareness Month.

“Studies show that young people still aren’t taking sun safety seriously despite incidence rates rising every year,” said Kathy Barnard, stage 4 melanoma survivor and founder of Save Your Skin Foundation, in a press release. “Skin cancer can be deadly, but it is also highly preventable.”

Over-expose to UV light from the sun is the leading cause melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Although skin cancer is 90 per cent preventable, the number of diagnosis rates are rising.

"One in six Canadians born in the 1990s will get skin cancer in their lifetimes. There are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined," a statement by the Save Your Skin Foundation said. "While most forms of non-melanoma skin cancer can be surgically removed, melanoma is an aggressive form of cancer. The five-year relative survival rate of melanoma that has metastasized is just 18 per cent."

When out in the sun take precautions like limiting time in the sun, wearing sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF 30, wearing brimmed hats and sunglasses. Skin doesn't have to be burned to suffer damage from UV light.

For more information on sun safety, go online to www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/sun-safety/sun-safety-basics.html.