VANCOUVER, June 4, 2012 /CNW/ - BC is one of the healthiest provinces in
Canada - in part, because of our healthy choices and active lifestyles.
However the 2012 Cancer Statistics confirm that melanoma skin cancer is
on the rise in Canada. This year in BC, there will be 910 new cases
diagnosed and it is projected that 150 people will die of this largely
The Canadian Cancer Society encourages everyone to be safe in the sun
during National Sun Awareness Week, June 4-10, 2012. "Nobody wants to
stay inside when the sun's shining," says Canadian Cancer Society
Director of Public Issues, Kathryn Seely. "So we're reminding British
Columbians to take some simple steps to avoid over-exposure to UV
Through public education and community action, the Society is sharing
the message that no tan is a safe tan. The province-wide Tanning is Out initiative helps educate young people about the serious risks of
tanning and encourages them to 'embrace the skin they're in'. BC youth
volunteers can be found at beaches and public events this summer
promoting Tanning is Out.
There are many myths about the benefits and dangers of tanning. The
evidence shows, however, that no one is completely safe from
overexposure to the sun.
Common myths about tanning:
Myth: There is no conclusive evidence that tanning causes cancer.
Truth: Yes there is. The leading academic organizations for cancer research
have determined, based on hundreds of scientific studies that exposure
to UV radiation is the primary cause of skin cancer. No reputable
studies have proven otherwise.
Myth: The tanning process does not damage the skin/having a tan is
Truth: When your skin color changes, you're damaging your skin and that can
lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Any type and amount of
exposure to UV rays, including from tanning beds, can be harmful.
Myth: Tanning in moderation does not cause cancer; only sunburns may
Truth: Burning is only one risk factor for developing skin cancers. Exposure to
UV radiation without burning is also responsible for DNA damage, which
increases a person's cancer risk.
Myth: The body repairs damage to the skin caused by UV light exposure.
Truth: DNA damage from UV radiation is often not properly repaired and this can
lead to cancer.
Myth: Tanning provides relief for health issues (for example, skin
conditions, arthritis, SAD - seasonal affected disorder).
Truth: There are certain disorders that can be treated by UV light, but
treatment should only be under medical supervision in a clinical
Myth: Only people with type 1 skin have an increased risk of developing
melanoma from tanning. People with dark skin can't get too much sun.
Truth: People with type 1 skin (very fair skinned, freckled; always burn, never
tan) are at greater risk for developing melanoma and other skin cancers
from tanning. However, regardless of skin type, tanning increases a
person's risk of cancer.
With the recent BC government announcement banning youth under 18 from
using tanning beds, the Society is optimistic that behaviours and
perceptions about tanning are changing. "Almost half of all cancers are
preventable," says Seely. "Creating sun awareness and advocating for
policy changes to create healthier environments is a huge step towards
stopping many cancers, like melanoma, before they start."
Established in 1938, the Canadian Cancer Society is a national charity
that fights cancer by doing everything we can to prevent cancer, fund
research and support people living with cancer. Join the fight! Visit
our website at cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (BC and Yukon Division)
For further information:
Gina Ungaro, Canadian Cancer Society, BCY