Melanoma Monday is observed on the first Monday in May and is internationally recognized as a day of skin cancer awareness. Approximately 6,500 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma in 2014 and 950 died from it. When found at an early stage, melanoma has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers at more than 90%. Unfortunately, melanoma is one cancer where the incidence in Canadians continues to grow. In Canada, the lifetime risk of melanoma for men is now 1 in 74 and for women, it is 1 in 90.
What can I do to prevent melanoma?
- Limit your time in the sun, especially between 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or when the UV Index is 3 or greater
- Stay in the shade
- Wear sun protective clothing (including long-sleeved shirts and pants, and a wide-brimmed hat)
- Wear sunglasses (wrap-around, with UVA & UVB protection, or UV 400 protection)
- Apply sunscreen (UVA & UVB protection and SPF 30 or greater)
- Do not use indoor tanning equipment.
If You Spot Something…
Don’t overlook it. Don’t delay. See your family doctor or nurse practitioner, if you notice a change in an existing mole, freckle, or spot or if you find a new one with any of the warning signs.