With the official start to summer right around the corner, many Canadians are eagerly awaiting those warm, sunny days they'll be spending outdoors.
Still, the Canadian Cancer Society wants to remind the country that too much exposure to harmful UV rays can cause cancer and other damaging effects. It's National Sun Awareness Week, and alarming new statistics show that anyone born from 1990 or later has a two to three times greater risk of developing skin cancer in their lifetime compared to someone born in the 1960's.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, in 2011, an estimated 79,600 Canadians will be diagnosed with skin cancer (5,500 of which are melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer).
Dr. Chantale Chiassion is a dermatologist in New Brunswick. She says lifestyle and exposure play a role when it comes to youth at risk.
“The sun we take before age twenty is more significant and it's probably because it's more time in the adolescent period to spend some time outdoors than as an adult because of studies, working, and so on family and all that,” explains Chaission.
“So there is definitely more sun exposure in that window of time.”
Chiasson says more and more of todays youth are using tanning beds. And the sun's UV rays getting stronger too. Both of which are contributing to a dramatic rise in skin cancer in Canada.
Here are some tips from the Canadian Cancer Society on how to make your day in the sun a safe one.
Be sure to check The Weather Network's UV Report Index for readings in your area.