A skin cancer diagnosis can be scary. This is especially true for those affected by melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, which claimed the lives of over 1,200 Canadians last year. However, while a new survey shows that the majority of Canadians say they understand the severity of skin cancer and fear a diagnosis, personal anecdotes and online dialogue suggest a different mindset. Images and posts about excessive tanning have become increasingly prevalent on social media, with hashtags such as #SkinCancerHereICome and #SkinCancerDontCare, illustrating that for some, skin cancer is viewed as a slight danger rather than a life-threatening reality.
It is important to understand that not all skin cancers are created equal. There are three different types of skin cancers with varying degrees of severity, and while most can be cured if found and treated early, those that spread beyond the surface of the skin can be complex and difficult to treat.