When we think of sunshine and suntans, we usually think first of vacations. And while most of us, while on vacation, remember to apply sunscreen, we don’t always remember to do this at home. Rain, snow or shine, it’s always important to be sun safe. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, even though it is also one of the most preventable.

One in every three cancers diagnosed worldwide is a skin cancer, 80-90% of which are caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The most common sources of UV radiation on the skin are the sun and artificial tanning beds. Over 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year, more than 5,000 of which are melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Canadians born in the 1990s have two to three times higher lifetime risk of getting skin cancer (1 in 6) than those born in the late 1960s (1 in 20)[1]. There are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined!

Skin cancer is caused by overexposure of the skin to UV radiation, with the most common sources of UV radiation on the skin being the sun and artificial tanning beds.

In 2003 Kathleen Barnard, Founder and President of Save Your Skin Foundation Canada, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. Growing up as an outdoor athlete and enthusiast, she spent countless hours outdoors in the sun. She was unaware of the hazards of the sun and how to protect herself from harmful UV rays. Kathy is now one of few advanced melanoma survivors in Canada, and has made it her mission, through the work of her Foundation, to make others aware of the dangers of the sun and tanning beds, and to educate and promote better awareness of sun safety.

The Save Your Skin Foundation is a national registered not-for profit organization dedicated to the areas of skin cancer and skin disease with a focus on education and awareness, supporting research and ensuring equal and timely access to treatment for all Canadians.

No tan is a safe tan. Enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine, but do it safely. More information can be found on the Save Your Skin Foundation website.

Quick Links:

Sun Safety for Children

Be Sun Smart Infographic

The Facts – Skin Cancer & Melanoma

[1] Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation http://www.canadianskincancerfoundation.com/about-skin-cancer.html