Canadian Cancer Society applauds 8,000 'tan-free' students for Sun Awareness Week

VANCOUVER, June 3, 2013 /CNW/ - This Sun Awareness Week, the Canadian Cancer Society is recognizing more than 8,000 students in high schools across BC who have taken the pledge to be tan-free this year. These youth are part of a movement towards owning their own skin-tone in spite of some of the social pressures to be tanned.

For the last three years, the Society has been sharing the message that tanning is out in high schools across BC through the Tanning is Out initiative. Society health promotion coordinators and volunteers work with local high school students through a peer-to-peer based model to educate students about the dangers of both indoor and outdoor tanning. Since 2011, more than 17,000 BC students have pledged to be tan-free.

"There is no way to get a safe tan," says Sharon Storoschuk, Director of Health Promotion for the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division. "Melanoma skin cancer - the most serious form of skin cancer - is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in youth between the ages of 15 and 29, affecting people of all ethnicities and skin tones."

According to the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2013 publication, skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Canada. But the good news is that skin cancer is mostly preventable.

The Canadian Cancer Society shares tips on being safe in the sun on cancer.ca. Here are some things you can do when you're out and about in the sun:

  • Reduce sun exposure between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and when the UV index is above 3
  • Cover up with loose fitting clothing and seek shade
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Use SPF 15 or higher sunscreen and reapply according to the instructions
  • Avoid indoor tanning

Promoting sun awareness is a collaborative effort. The Society is making strides in partnering with some communities across BC to supply sun umbrellas at beaches.

"We're very pleased to work with communities to help protect people from getting too much sun," says Storoschuk. "With the help of partners and schools, we are making huge leaps forward in helping people make healthy decisions that will increase their chances of avoiding preventable cancers like skin cancer."

According to recent research, 49 per cent of young women and 28 per cent of young men actively try to get a tan from the sun. With these statistics in mind, the Society continues to work with communities to encourage the public to take action and be aware of the dangers of sun exposure.

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 (BC and Yukon Division)

For further information:

Sheila Dong
Manager, Media Relations
Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon
604-675-7365
sdong@bc.cancer.ca

Gina Ungaro
Coordinator, Media Relations and Marketing
Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon
604-675-7335
gungaro@bc.cancer.ca

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Canadian Cancer Society (BC and Yukon Division)

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