It’s a spot of bad news in an otherwise hopeful update on cancer in Canada.
Skin cancer, one of the most preventable forms of the disease, is also one of the fastest-rising in this country, according to a new report from the Canadian Cancer Society that notes the death rate for all cancers combined continues to fall for most age groups.
“Melanoma is certainly increasing more than nearly all other cancers,” said Frances Wright, the head of breast and melanoma surgery at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. “They [rates] are increasing rapidly and it’s probably related to behaviour, related to lack of sun protection.”
When it comes to malignant melanoma – the type of skin cancer that is likelier to spread and kill – the rate of new cases has climbed significantly over the past 25 years. So has the melanoma death rate. The report, released Wednesday, estimates 6,500 new cases of malignant melanoma will be diagnosed this year, with 1,050 expected to die from the disease.
But it is disconcerting that skin cancer, a disease that can easily be prevented by wearing sunscreen, covering up, seeking shade and avoiding tanning beds, is still on the rise, said Loraine Marrett, a senior scientist at Cancer Care Ontario, the provincial agency that combats the disease.
"We ought to be seeing skin cancer rates fall, shouldn’t we?” she said. “But we don’t.”
In a bid to reverse that, the Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Care Ontario and several other organizations are working on new sun safety guidelines they hope to release later this year or early next, Ms. Marrett said.
We wanted to share part of this article with you which was posted & written in the Globe and Mail on May 28, 2014.
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