PATIENT RESOURCES / DR’s Blog
Summer & Winter Skin Cancer Awareness
Skin cancer in Canada is on the rise. According to the Save Your Skin Foundation, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada. It is important to educate yourself on skin cancer awareness and prevention, making note that most skin cancers are preventable and early detection is key to treating this disease. Not only is the sun damaging in the summer, don’t forget that the sun can be just as damaging in winter or on cloudy days!
What are risk factors associated with melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers?
- exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV)
- fair complexion and freckles
- family history
- atypical moles
- obtained severe sunburns as a child
- outdoor workers exposed to UV rays
- frequency at tanning beds (according to the World Health Organization, the risk of developing skin melanoma increases by 75% when use of tanning beds starts before the age of 35)
What other types of damage can be caused by the sun?
- skin pigmentation
- broken blood vessels
- redness to skin
- saggy skin
- loss of texture and shine
- keratoses or skin growths
How do we prevent skin cancer and avoid sun damaged skin?
- Examine the skin on your entire body once a month for any changes or irregularities; have your doctor examine your skin on an annual basis
- Wear a broadband, good quality UVA/UVB sunscreen on a daily basis of at least 30 SPF (even on cloudy days), reapplying every 2 hours to your entire body, including face, tips of ears, back of neck and hands, and lips; if you are having nail treatments with UV light, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your hands
- Avoid the sun during peak hours and seek out the shade during 10am – 4pm
- Wear protective clothing – long sleeve shirt, pants and a wide rimmed sun hat
- Be aware of sun-sensitizing medications, and ask your doctor or pharmacist for clarification
- Wear good quality, wrap around sunglasses
- Avoid tanning beds!
Remember these 5 tips for sun protection:
- SLIP on a t-shirt or protective clothing
- SLOP on SPF 30+, UVA & UVB sunscreen
- SLAP on a broad rimmed hat
- SLIDE on good quality sunglasses
- SHADE seek shade between 10am – 4pm
For more information about skin cancer click here.
To book a private consultation with Dr Shortt please call 905-849-4282 or click here.