OAKVILLE, ON, Sept. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - The Melanoma Network of Canada is
calling on provincial politicians to take the lead and implement
legislation that would regulate the use of tanning beds and ban
individuals under the age of 18 from using them.
"Melanoma is the second most common cancer in young adults aged 15 to 34
and more needs to be done here in Ontario to address this," said
Annette Cyr, Chair of the Melanoma Network of Canada. "The increasing
prevalence of skin cancer amongst Ontario's youth is alarming and over
the last 30 years, the incidence rate of melanoma has more than
tripled. Greater measures are urgently needed to ensure that this rate
does not continue to escalate."
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the world. When it is
not detected early, it is often fatal and because of this, the number
of deaths attributed to melanoma is increasing in Ontario each year.
Studies commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) have shown
that people who use tanning beds before the age of 30 increase their
risk of contracting melanoma by 75 per cent. In addition to this, the
WHO recently upgraded the classification of indoor tanning beds to a
"known carcinogen," confirming that indoor tanning equipment causes
Earlier this year in May, the Melanoma Network of Canada hosted a
melanoma awareness day at Queen's Park where members of the Melanoma
Network met with supportive MPPs from both governing and opposition
parties. During this year's Ontario election campaign, the Melanoma
Network is asking candidates for their commitment to support
legislation in the next parliamentary session that will ban the use of
tanning beds by people under the age of 18.
In 2010, a private member's bill, The Skin Cancer Prevention Act, was introduced in the Legislative Assembly. If it had been passed, the
bill would have prohibited the marketing and selling of tanning
services to anyone under 18. The bill did not pass.
Other jurisdictions in Canada have already implemented regulations when
it comes to indoor tanning. The provincial governments of Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick have introduced similar legislation that places an
age limit on the use of tanning beds, and the city of Victoria recently
introduced a bylaw preventing youth from using indoor tanning
The Melanoma Network of Canada is encouraging Ontario's politicians to
consider the statistics and do the same here in Ontario. "Ninety per
cent of melanoma cases are a direct result of exposure to UV light, and
the most common sources of UV light are sunshine and tanning beds" said
Cyr. "When you think about how many cases of melanoma could be
prevented by restricting youth access to tanning beds, this type of
legislation only makes sense. We have already taken action on smoking
and begun to address the causes of diabetes and obesity. Addressing the
causes of melanoma is the next step."
Melanoma is a rare but deadly form of skin cancer and is one of the
fastest growing cancers in Canada. An estimated 5,600 Canadians will be
diagnosed with melanoma this year and 960 will die from it. The
survival rate for melanoma is high if it is detected early and unlike
many cancers, melanoma is clearly visible on the skin.
About the Melanoma Network Canada (MNC)
Melanoma Network Canada (MNC) is a patient-led organization dedicated to
the prevention and elimination of melanoma. Established in 2009 by a
small group of patients and caregivers, the MNC works in collaboration
with medical professionals, health care agencies and other stakeholders
to educate, advocate and fund for early diagnosis and effective
treatment of melanoma, education, prevention and awareness programs,
relevant and innovative research, support for patients and an improved
quality of life for those living with melanoma.
SOURCE Melanoma Network of Canada
For further information:
Melanoma Network of Canada