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May proclaimed Melanoma Awareness Month in Prince George

City is one of 11 other B.C. municipalities to participate
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(via Getty Images)

The City of Prince George is bringing attention to a type of skin cancer next month in proclaiming May as "Melanoma Awareness Month."

B.C.'s northern capital is one of 11 municipalities set to take part across the province. 

The first city to commit was New Westminster and Mayor Jonathan Coté. 

"Skin cancer is largely preventable, and yet there are more cases now than ever," he said in a news release from the Save Your Skin Foundation. 

With COVID-19 keeping people mainly indoors but also allowing people to enjoy the sunshine outside, the foundation is reminding people across the country to make sure they stay safe outdoors. 

Over-exposure to UV radiation is the leading causes of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. 

Though skin cancer is 90 per cent preventable, diagnosis rates are increasing.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers as 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.

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.

“Studies show that young people still aren’t taking sun safety seriously despite incidence rates rising every year,” Kathy Barnard, stage 4 melanoma survivor and Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation adds in the release.

“Skin cancer can be deadly, but it is also highly preventable.”

The foundation says any darkening of the skin from sun, even a tan, is indicative of UV damage.