Melanoma Awareness Month reminds that summer sun is near

The sun is just starting to peek out from behind the curtains of clouds that dominate way too much of April.

And we, the pandemic isolated and winter-weary, will happily absorb all the waiting rays we can. But even though the sun might be received like a long-lost friend, it is worth remembering that there are some dangers in soaking up the sun without restraint.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and with a few tips and reminders, we can all enjoy the very best summer has to offer.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. According to Health Canada, about one-third of all new cases of cancer in Canada are skin cancers, and the rate continues to rise. Taking care of your skin is crucial because it plays a vital role in keeping you healthy.

By taking some measures to protect yourself and your family from the sun, you can help to prevent the long-term consequences of too much sun, such as the various forms of skin cancer, leathery skin, and also avoid nasty short-term effects, like a sunburn.

Here are some things to remember to help protect you from the sun’s rays, so you can go outside and have your best summer yet.

  • The sun’s rays are strongest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 15 to 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Re-apply sunscreen after activities causing you to sweat or after swimming.
  • Make sure your sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Check your skin regularly so you know what is normal for your body and to notice any changes or new growths.

So, have a great summer and please just put on that sunscreen. For more information and tips and ways to protect you and your family visit cancer.ca.

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