Prevention

Skin Cancer Prevention

Skin cancer is preventable. By practicing sun safety and avoiding the use of tanning beds you can prevent skin cancer in yourself and in your children. Remember:
  • Sunburns, especially in childhood, show a strong correlation with the development of melanoma and basal cell carcinoma later in life.
  • A single severe sunburn in childhood may double one’s risk of developing melanoma.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma appears to be related to cumulative sun exposure (even on a chronic low dose basis – so you don’t need to get a sunburn to increase your risk!!)
  • The use of artificial tanning beds  has been associated with a significant increase in risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer
Sun safety includes the following simple behaviours:
  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. or any time the UV Index* is 3 or higher
  • Cover arms and legs with loose-fitting, tightly woven and lightweight clothing
  • Wear a wide-brim hat to protect head, face, neck and ears
  • Stay in the shade – under trees, awnings or umbrellas and away from reflected UV rays
  • Wear sunglasses:
– with UV protection of 400 – block 99% of UVA and UVB – wrap around your eyes to protect the sides of your eyes
  • If you have to be out in the sun:
– use sunscreen** with an SPF of 30 or higher – apply at least 20 minutes before going into the sun – reapply every 2 or 3 hours – reapply after swimming or perspiring – apply generously to ensure the creation of a barrier between the sun’s rays and your skin – alternate application of sun screen with application of bug sprays – be sure to reach under the edges of your clothing, the back of your neck, your ears and other places that are often missed or forgotten And remember – these precautions are important all year round when the sun’s rays bounce off the snow, sand, water and even concrete!