Stay Safe in the Sun

Friday, June 28, 2013

It’s summertime! Time to celebrate the outdoors, enjoy an afternoon at the beach with family, or relax with a good book poolside. The longer days and warmer temperatures beckon for us to soak up every moment. While it’s important that we enjoy the summer (many of us wait eight months of the year to do so!), it’s also important to remember to be safe in the sun.

In Canada, sunlight is strong enough to cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. About one third of all new cases of cancer in Canada are skin cancers, and the rate continues to rise.

Over 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year, more than 5,000 of which are melanoma, the mostly 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 1960s (1 in 20).

Skin plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. It is the largest organ in your body, and it protects you from things like dehydration, the sun, bacterial infections, and pollution. There are limits to your skin's ability to protect you. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation -- also known as UV rays -- damages the DNA of your skin cells, which can cause skin cancer.

Most cases of skin cancer are preventable. You can reduce your risk of getting skin cancer by following these sun safety tips:
  • Plan outdoor activities before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to minimize exposure when UVR is most intense
  • Seek shade or create your own shade with an umbrella or other portable structure
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and loose-fitting clothing made of tightly woven fabric
  • Liberally apply a broad-spectrum (with UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher
  • Wear sunglasses that have/offer UVA & UBV protection

Remember, children learn best by example. Model sun-protective behavior yourself.

Think indoor tanning is safer? Think again. There is no safe way to tan. Click here to learn about the health risks of tanning.

Click here for more information about how you can stay safe in the sun. Information provided by the Canadian Cancer Society.

media inquiries

Sara Wilson
Publicity and Promotions Specialist
South West Regional Cancer Program
519-685-8500 ext. 71826