A 24-fold increase in the incidence of melanoma cancer.

14 07 09 skincancer

Nearly everyone has been affected by cancer in some way—be it a family member, friend, or a personal experience. With the recent study published by the Mayo Clinic in January stating that the incidence of melanoma in women between the ages of 40-60 had increased 24-fold between 1970 and 2009, the need for more awareness about this disease is fast pressing.

Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, happens when cells are damaged and mutated from UV ray destruction. Luckily, melanoma spots are usually visible as brown or black spots on the skin, so if you see an unusual spot on your body you can have it checked by a dermatologist or doctor for an early diagnosis. If the cancer isn’t caught early enough, there is more time for it spread through the body, making treatment much more difficult or even impossible.

We all know that cancer can potentially wreak havoc, so its smart to be proactive and take as many preventative measures as possible. Here are our five most helpful tips on how to keep your skin protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays. 

Since 2009, it has become common knowledge that tanning beds are dangerous, so just plain stay away from them. We also now understand that UV rays penetrate through glass and clouds, apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 daily and consistently. The Canadian Cancer Society provides plenty of information about screening options for all provinces across Canada, and also has helpful information about how to monitor your own skin for signs of early stages of melanoma; areas to check, discolouration markings and differing skin textures. Events such as Relay for Life continue to raise awareness for cancers, but it is important that each person be diligent about checking their skin for unusual skin markings, and following up with a doctors appointment if need be. Be sure to keep yourself protected, because as we can see from this study, skin-cancer can affect anyone.