Take Care... Take CoverSun Safety
Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada, accounting for approximately one-third of all newly diagnosed cancers. 32,000 Ontarians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2007.

Overexposure to the sun is a health risk for everyone. Certain factors can increase a person’s risk for skin cancer. These include:

There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. 

Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinomas are the most common forms of skin cancer in Canada. They tend to develop on skin that has been repeatedly exposed to the sun such as the face, head and neck. Basal Cell Carcinomas develop on skin that has been intermittently exposed to the sun. Your risk goes up with amount of exposure. Squamous Cell Carcinomas develop due to exposure that has occurred over time.  Your risk also increases with amount of exposure. Basal and Squamous cell carcinomas usually occur later in life, are slow to progress and rarely cause death. They usually don’t spread to other parts of the body and can be surgically removed.

Malignant Melanomas are the least common form of skin cancer, accounting for only about 5% of all skin cancers.  They are the most deadly and can develop on almost any part of the body.  They progress rapidly and occur earlier in life, often between the ages of 35 and 50. Intermittent and frequent exposure to the sun are risk factors for malignant melanomas. Artificial tanning is also a risk factor.

Following sun safety practices is your best defence for preventing skin cancer.
Get to know any changes in your skin by examining it often. See your doctor if you notice:

For more information about skin changes visit www.dermatology.ca


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