Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays increases the risk of developing melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
In addition to skin cancers, UV rays are responsible for premature aging/wrinkling and can cause eye damage.
Skin Cancer Facts
- In Niagara, cases of melanoma have increased by 60 per cent from 2003 to 2009
- Niagara's rate of melanoma is 24 per cent higher than the Ontario average
- Nearly all skin cancers are preventable
- One bad sunburn before the age of 18 doubles your chances of getting melanoma - the most serious and sometimes fatal form of skin cancer (David Cornfield Melanoma Fund, 2014)
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Canada, and anyone born today has a greater than one in seven risk of developing skin cancer during their lifetime (Canadian Cancer Society, 2014).
The risk is higher for people who:
- Have light-coloured skin, eyes or hair
- Have a family history of skin cancer
- Freckle easily and have a large number of moles
- Work outdoors
- Participate in outdoor activities and outdoor sports
- Have had blistering sunburns as a child
- Take medications that suppress the immune system
- Have received an organ transplant
To learn more about factors that affect your risk for melanoma (and other types of cancer), visit Cancer Care Ontario
To help protect yourself, know the warning signs and check your skin regularly.