Are Canadians at higher risk for skin cancer?

Apart from your sun-seeking habits, there are some surprising factors that can increase your risk for skin cancer. Here’s what you need to know to keep yourself safe

Are Canadians at higher risk for skin cancer?

Source: Best Health Magazine, Summer 2010

Did you know there has been a rise in melanoma across colder climates? This is largely due to the increase in holiday travel to sunny destinations, says Craig Sinclair of Cancer Council Australia. According to a 2009 study, genetics may also boost your risk; University of California researchers found that people with a sibling or parent diagnosed with some types of skin cancer were more likely to develop the disease.

Meanwhile, one in two Canadians don’t check their skin enough, according to a 2009 survey by Angus Reid Strategies. Melanoma is easy to detect’up to 70 percent of melanomas are first found by the patient or family members’and early detection is linked to survival.

Talk to your physician about how often you should be screened, and check your body and your partner’s for irregular moles every month or so. And if you’re planning to spend time in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen.