World Cancer Day: Get the facts
TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - The focus of World Cancer Day on February
4 is to dispel misconceptions about cancer, such as the dangerous myth
perpetuated by the tanning industry and in popular culture — the
so-called "base tan" for travellers heading south for spring break.
"Getting a tan from a tanning bed does not protect you from the sun and
in fact could be more harmful," says Joanne Di Nardo, Senior Manager,
Public Issues, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.
Tanning beds can expose a user to five times more ultraviolet (UV)
radiation than the mid-day summer sun. A tan from natural or artificial
sources offers limited protection from sunlight or burning — equivalent
to an SPF level of only 2 or 3. The effect of sunburn goes away and a
tan fades, however, the skin has a limited capacity to repair itself
and the damage accumulates.
In 2009, the World Health Organization upgraded the classification of
UV-emitting devices, including tanning beds, from a probable carcinogen
to a known carcinogen, meaning there is no doubt that indoor tanning
Research done by the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows
that using indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 significantly
increases a person's risk of developing melanoma skin cancer.
Several municipalities in Ontario have passed bylaws to prohibit youth
under 18 from using tanning beds, including most recently Belleville. A
private member's bill was introduced in April 2012 but was lost when
the Ontario legislature was prorogued.
"That's why the Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the Government of
Ontario to protect youth from the dangers of indoor tanning by
reintroducing the legislation," says Di Nardo. "We know voluntary
guidelines and parental consent do not work, so action needs to be
taken. When the provincial legislature resumes, indoor tanning should
be on the agenda."
A poll commissioned by the Society shows that 80% of Ontarians would
support the provincial legislation prohibiting the use of indoor
tanning equipment by youth under 18 years of age.
Support the Society's call for action on indoor tanning by visiting http://takeaction.cancer.ca.
World Cancer Day is marked every February 4 by the Union for International Cancer
Control. The Society is one of the organization's more than 770 members
from 155 countries.
For information about common cancer myths, visit the cancer.ca myths page.
For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the
fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent
cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From
this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever
so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive.
When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at
1-888-939-3333 (TTY: 1-866-786-3934).
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Senior Coordinator, Communications
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division