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

Highways in and out of Revelstoke close

Highway 1 is now open to single alternative traffic, but Highway 23 south is closed

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

Grizzly bear and off-leash dog encounters have caused some trails to be closed to dogs in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Though dogs aren’t prohibited on all of the trails they must always be on leash

Terry Fox run in Revelstoke coming up Sept. 15

There will be a 2 km, 5 km and 10 km

Grass fire breaks out on highway south of Vernon

Highway 97 traffic slowed as firefighters snuff grass fire

Summerland relaunches net metering program

Event open house will be held Aug. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m in Arena Banquet Room

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Preliminary inquiry set for accused Penticton killer

John Brittain, 68, will be back in Penticton court from Jan. 27 to 31

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

Vernon man facing drug trafficking charges in Kelowna

The man was found with suspected cocaine, heroin and fentanyl and thousands of dollars in cash

Most Read