Higher UV Index Ratings Indicate Need for Summer Diligence

National Sun Awareness Week: June 3 - 9, 2013

VANCOUVER, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) wants to make sure sun protection is front of mind this summer. Sun safety and regular skin exams should be part of the everyday routine, which is why the CDA and local dermatologists are hosting a public skin cancer screening today at the Sunset Community Centre on Main Street.

"As Canadians, it's always great when we can get outside, be active and spend time in the sunshine but we've got to be smart about it," says Dr. Jason Rivers, Regional Director of the CDA's Sun Awareness Program. "People should be wearing sunscreen 365 days a year and whenever the UV Index is higher than three we should be taking extra precautions, like limiting our time outside during peak hours (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)."

This summer Environment Canada is predicting midday UV index ratings ranging from moderate (3-5) to very high (8-9) across Canada, so proper sun protection is an absolute must. This includes wearing hats, sunglasses, light-weight tightly-woven clothing to cover exposed skin, seeking shade, and applying (and re-applying) board-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Estimates for 2013 indicate there will be approximately 81,700 new cases of skin cancer diagnosed and 6,000 cases of melanoma - the most serious form of skin cancer - which will result in approximately 1,050 deaths. Skin cancer is the most widely diagnosed form of cancer in Canada and worldwide. It is also the only form of cancer that is clearly visible on the skin and one of a small number that is highly preventable.

What does this mean for British Columbia? It means an estimated 950 new cases of melanoma being diagnosed in 2013 and 140 preventable deaths, which works out to 2 B.C. residents dying every week from melanoma.

"Diligence is key to skin cancer prevention and it's important to know what changes to look for because early detection really does save lives," says Rivers. The CDA urges all Canadians to make regular at-home skin cancer self-examinations part of their routine and have created a guide, Know the Signs, Save a Life, to help Canadians do just that.

The best thing about skin cancer: it's easily preventable.

Event information: Public skin cancer screening
Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main Street
Multipurpose Room, Ground Floor
12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

All media are welcome to attend. Any questions can be directed to Jennifer Scott at 613.447.8611.

About Sun Awareness Week
The Canadian Dermatology Association has organized a nationwide Sun Awareness Week since 1989. The purpose of the annual campaign is to increase the awareness of Canadians about the harmful effects of UV radiation and the ways to protect the skin from UV exposure, in order to decrease the incidence of skin cancer in Canada. During National Sun Awareness Week, June 3 - 9, 2013, dermatologists will volunteer at free public skin cancer screenings and other community events. For more information, please visit www.dermatology.ca.

About CDA
The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association strives to provide easy access to the largest, most reliable source of medical knowledge on dermatology. CDA exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the care of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. By doing so, CDA informs and empowers both medical professionals and the Canadian public.

To learn more about what the work CDA does visit www.dermatology.ca or join the conversation on www.Twitter.com/CdnDermatology or www.Facebook.com/CdnDermatology

SOURCE: Canadian Dermatology Association

For further information:

Jennifer Scott, Director, Communications
Cell: 613-447-8611 | jscott@dermatology.ca 

Laura Craig, Communications Coordinator
Cell: 613-716-2098  | lcraig@dermatology.ca

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