A patient being screened for skin cancer. (Dr. Ben Wiese)

Okanagan doctor warns against tanning as skin cancer rates rise

A Kelowna doctor said the number of people diagnosed with skin cancer has increased in recent years

As spring gets into full swing this year, Kelowna doctor is warning people to stay safe in the sun this summer.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. Ben Wiese said 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year.

“Statistics from 2017 show that an estimated 7,200 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and 1,250 Canadians died from melanoma skin cancer,” said Wiese.

He said there are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined.

READ MORE: Preventing skin cancer

The reason skin cancer is becoming more apparent is because more people are using tanning beds to attain that sunny glow and some studies show the depleting ozone layer could be a factor in increasing skin cancer diagnoses.

“Canadians born in the 1990s have a two to three times higher lifetime risk of getting skin cancer than those born in the 1960s. The incidence of cutaneous melanoma nearly doubled from 1973 to 1990,” Wiese said.

READ MORE: Kelowna cancer fundraiser walk

Wiese recommends avoiding the sun during the hottest hours of the day between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., try to stay in the shade and not get sunburned.

“Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds. A tan means you have sustained skin cell damage. Cover up with UV- protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB), water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day of the year,” Wiese explained.

READ MORE: Stay safe in the sun this summer

Skin Cancer Awareness Month is a worldwide initiative to promote awareness about skin cancer, ways to prevent it and to give people a chance to share their stories.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon man arrested with meat cleaver pleads not guilty to cop assault

Kyle Frances Larue allegedly assaulted RCMP with bear spray, meat cleaver

North Okanagan district offers tips for waste reduction

The district is emailing tips during Waste Reduction Week, Oct. 21-27

On the campaign trail: North Okanagan photographer gets up close to MP candidates

Salmon Arm’s Kristal Burgess produced photo essays for fourShuswap-North Okanagan candidates

Memorial remembers Vernon’s most marginalized

Prayers and flowers for those who have died on the streets

One year later: Vernon pot stores look back at legalization

Edibles made legal on first anniversary of recreational cannabis

Spotlight on B.C.: Liberals need at least 10 B.C. ridings to take the election

Black Press Media presents a four-part series into how B.C. will affect the federal election outcome

LETTER: The importance of universal pharmacare

Most people can’t afford their prescription drugs

Kelowna pot shop looks to the future on Canada’s first cannibersary

Kelowna’s Hobo Recreational Cannabis store has been in operation since July 25, 2019

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Election brings a colourful array of elections signs

Morning Start: The whale known as Moby Dick

Your morning start for Friday, Oct. 18

Wood pellet supply a concern for Salmon Arm business

Prices increase after Pinnacle Renewable Energy steps away from bag sales

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Most Read