17 BC Municipalities Proclaim May Melanoma Awareness Month

17 BC Municipalities Proclaim May Melanoma Awareness Month

As May marks both Melanoma Awareness Month and the beginning of summer weather, it is imperative that communities across Canada be reminded of the importance of sun safety at this time of year. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Canadians to stay home, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t spending time outside. In fact, many have more time than usual to enjoy the outdoors, making sun safety education as relevant as ever.

“COVID-19 has highlighted everyone’s willingness to take drastic measures to preserve our health,” says Kathy Barnard, stage 4 melanoma survivor and Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF). “Increased preventative efforts and methods of early detection, particularly in the form of public education, public policy and built environments are also needed to reduce skin cancer rates.”

Skin Cancer in Canada is still on the rise

COVID-19 isn’t the only disease whose rates can be drastically reduced through education and preventative measures. Skin cancer rates in Canada continue to rise, including melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancers, despite being 90% preventable.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. There are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers COMBINED[1]. 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%.[2]

Despite these figures, many people seek sun without taking the recommended precautionary measures, or believe that only severe burns contribute to one’s risk of skin cancer. In fact, any darkening of the skin, including a tan, is indicative of UV damage.

 

Municipal Proclamations

To increase the reach of SYSF’s awareness campaign this year, a new proclamation initiative invited BC municipalities to take a stance against skin cancer and educate their communities on sun safety through mayoral proclamations.  SYSF is pleased to announce that seventeen BC municipalities, listed below, have accepted SYSF’s invitation to proclaim the month of May 2020 ‘Melanoma Awareness Month’.  Click here to read our full press release.

City of Vancouver

City of Kelowna

City of Victoria

Town of Comox

City of Burnaby 

District of Saanich

City of Richmond

District of Central Saanich

City of New Westminster

City of Prince George

City of Surrey

City of Williams Lake

City of Whistler

District of Mission

City of Nanaimo

City of Langford

City of Campbell River 

 

Mayor of New Westminster, Jonathan Coté, was first to commit to proclaiming May 2020 as Melanoma Awareness Month, and decided to challenge other BC municipalities to follow his example. “Skin cancer is largely preventable, and yet there are more cases now than ever,” said Coté.  “This is why as Mayor of New Westminster, I’m happy to support this important initiative and challenge all BC municipalities to do the same.”

“This is an important initiative, especially for hot, sunny communities like ours,” said Mayor of Kelowna, Colin Basran. “Skin cancer is a serious public health concern, and incidences of the disease are only increasing.”

 

During Melanoma Awareness Month, we invite you to take action by publicly announcing your support of the fight against melanoma.

 

Throughout the month of May, SYSF will be engaged in several initiatives to bring awareness to melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma. The month will be starting out with a bang thanks to a new drawing contest aimed at youth. The contest’s theme “This is what sun safety looks like”, will encourage participants to submit drawings depicting actions or environments which help prevent skin cancer. The winning entry will be determined through open voting once the May 15th deadline for submission has passed, with a $100 gift card going to the artist with the most votes.

 

Download our custom banner photo for your Facebook cover photo below, or upload a selfie below to participate in our #WeWillDefeatMelanoma campaign! We will apply our campaign frame to your selfie and post it on our social media channels.

 

 

 

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