SOURCE: Canadian Dermatology Association

Canadian Dermatology Association

July 04, 2016 11:00 ET

When a Mole Isn't Just a Mole

Dermatologists Encourage Vancouver Residents to Come Out for Annual Skin Cancer Screening

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - July 04, 2016) - Dermatologists will once again be holding an annual public skin cancer screening for Vancouver residents, which this year takes place on July 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the lobby of the Vancouver Aquatic Centre.

The screening is sponsored by the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) and hosted by local dermatologists and residents -- including Dr. Jason Rivers, one of the country's leading experts in melanoma. It is intended to catch skin cancer early while it is still highly treatable. But while early detection can save lives, dermatologists point out that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

"Skin cancer is one of the most preventable of cancers," said Dr. Rivers. "It's vital that you take simple precautions when you are going outdoors and stay away from tanning salons. It's also important to check your body for suspicious changes that might signal the onset of cancer. Finding cancer early significantly increases your chances of a positive outcome."

No appointment is necessary to take part in the screening and Dr. Rivers is encouraging everyone to drop by and get checked by a certified dermatologist. Dermatologists are the only physicians specializing in skin, hair and nails, and are experts at identifying and diagnosing skin cancer.

The screening is important even if you see no obvious signs of cancer on your body because skin cancer can hide between the toes and in other places easily overlooked.

There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and the most serious of all, malignant melanoma. Together they constitute the most common type of cancer among Canadians.

Each year some 85,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with skin cancer -- a figure that represents more than eight times the population of Whistler. Of these, about 7,000 will contract melanoma. Skin Cancer is caused by damage from ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds. Dermatologists are concerned that skin cancer is on the rise in Canada, a trend they are determined to reverse through public education.

In addition to taking advantage of the free screening, individuals are encouraged to do their own regular checks using the CDA's five-step skin cancer self-evaluation. Instructions for self-evaluation will be available at the screening.

To enjoy the sun safely, dermatologists recommend protecting your skin and eyes.

Protect your skin

  • When the UV Index is 3 or higher, protect your skin as much as possible. In general, the UV Index in Canada can be 3 or higher from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. between April and September, even if it's cloudy.
    • Seek shade or bring your own (e.g., an umbrella).
    • Wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat that cover as much skin as possible, as appropriate to the activity and weather.
    • Use sunscreen labelled "broad spectrum" and "water-resistant" with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, on skin not covered by clothing. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply when required.
  • Don't use UV tanning equipment or deliberately try to get a suntan, and avoid getting a sunburn.

Protect your eyes

  • Wear sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses with UV-protective lenses.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat for added eye protection.

About the CDA

The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association provides easy access to the largest, most reliable source of medical knowledge on dermatology. CDA exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the care of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. By doing so, CDA informs and empowers both medical professionals and the Canadian public. To learn more about what the work CDA does visit http://www.dermatology.ca or join the conversation on http://www.Twitter.com/CdnDermatology or www.Facebook.com/CdnDermatology.

Contact Information

  • For further information please contact

    Nimmi Sidhu
    Coordinator, Communications
    Office: (613) 738-1748 ext. 228
    nsidhu@dermatology.ca