Each year, 80,000 Canadians are diagnosed with skin cancer and more than 5,000 of those cases are melanomas. While melanomas isn't the most common type of skin cancer, it's the most dangerous. It's also the fastest growing of all cancers in Canada.
Melanoma is a cancer named after the cells it affects: the melanicytes. Theses are skin cells that you gives you your skin color and protects your skin from the sun's harmful rays. Melanomas often develop from moles, but they can also appear as a new irregular-looking mole. It can take this cancer weeks, months or even years to develop. Although melanomas can appear anywhere on the body, they are most exposure to getting melanoma, one of the main risk factors is overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation that frequently results in sunburns, whether directly from the sun or from tanning beds. Other risk factors include fairer skin and the presence of 50 or more moles.
Keep these tips in mind to help keep your skin, which is the largest organ in your body, the healthiest it can be.
The good news is that all skin cancers, including melanoma, are among the most preventable types of cancer. The best way to protect yourself is to limit excessive UV exposure by following these tips:
Limit UV exposure when the sun's rays are the strongest (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and avoid indoor tanning beds altogether;
Wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and stay in the shade whenever possible.
Use broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) regularly, even on cloudy days, and reapply it every two hours or right after swimming or excessive sweating.
Know the ABCDE Signs of Melanoma
Finding melanoma in the early stages significantly improves your chance of survival. Examine your moles once a month and see your dermatologist right away if you notice any of the following changes in any of them.
Asymmetry: One half of the mole doesn't match the other half.
Borders: The edge of the mole is uneven and difficult to define.
Colors: The mole is uneven in colour. Most melanomas are black or brown, but sometimes they can be pink, red, purple, blue or grey.
Diameter: The mole is greater than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser).
Evolution: The mole has changed in shape, size or color or is itchy, bleeding or crusting.
Melanoma may be the most aggressive type pf skin cancer, but it's also the most curable when detected early. Four more information on melanoma, visit the Canadian Cancer Society at cancer.ca and search "melanoma".
About Elta MD SPF
Elta MD broad-spectrum sunscreens provide safe, broad-spectrum ultraviolet (UV) protection. A broad-spectrum sunscreen helps prevent sunburn and if used as directed with other sun protection measures, decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun. Ultraviolet, or UV rays, are part of the invisible energy that comes from the sun. UVA (aging) rays account for 95% of our sun exposure. They cause skin aging and contribute to skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin layers, damaging collagen and cells which leads to wrinkling, hyperpigmentation and loss of elasticity. UVB (burning) rays mostly affect the outer layer of the skin. They cause sunburns and tanning that increase the risk of skin cancer and other disorders. The risk for skin cancer doubles in people who have had five or more sunburns. Skin Cancer Foundation (Nov. 2010)
Keep Calm, Gorgeous, we've Got You Covered!
Pick up our favorite Elta MD UV Physical Broad Spectrum SPF 41 that provides chemical-free UV sun protection and lightly tints your complexion to enhance the skin's radiance. Only $41.
The lightweight natural mineral-based won't clog pores and is fragrance, oil, and paraben free. Gentle on sensitive skin and may be used on the face and body. Apply under makeup as a base for added protection to the skin. It is also ideal for post-procedure fractional laser treatments.
Zinc oxide: Natural mineral compound that works as a sunscreen agent by reflecting and scattering UVA and UVB rays.
Titanium dioxide: Natural mineral that works as a sunscreen agent by reflecting and scattering UV radiation.
Linoleic acid: Antioxidant that reduces free radicals to help diminish the visible signs of aging.
Quercetin: Antioxidant that reduces free radicals to help diminish the visible signs of aging.
Thioctic acid: Antioxidant that reduces free radicals to help diminish the visible signs of aging.
And remember, you only need to wear sunscreen on days ending with a "Y" ;)
"I have tried many and this one is the best - lightweight yet effective, no residue, slight tint, a more even skin tone. One of my favorite products that I use on my face!" - Jeddy
"I love this product because it doesn't feel like sunscreen and it has a slight tint if you'd rather not wear any foundation!" - Donna
"This is my favorite product! I use it every day in place of foundation. The coverage is light, but just enough tint to even skin tone. It doesn't get on my clothes and keeps my face from burning without constant reapplying." - Pamela