Protect yourself from the sun

sunblock and legsWith the release of the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2014 and evidence that the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, is on the rise, Canadians are being warned to give due respect to the power of the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV).

According to recent statistics, even though most forms of cancer cases are decreasing in Canada, skin cancer incidents and mortality rates are increasing. This is troubling to health experts because skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Its main cause is overexposure to the UV rays of the sun or tanning beds, and educating the populace on the dangers of overexposure could prevent future cases.

There are a few simple things we can do to protect ourselves from the sun’s UV rays. Before leaving the house check the UV index — if the index is three or higher, wear protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen. Also, travellers to tropical destinations need to be extra smart as vacation spots, such as Mexico and the Caribbean, are closer to the equator and therefore have higher UV rays. In Sun Peaks, residents and visitors need to be mindful of the fact that the sun’s rays are stronger at higher altitudes. Experts suggest reducing exposure between peak hours, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., as the sun’s rays are stronger. If you are out midday, seek shade or create your own with an umbrella or awning.

If you’re concerned about yourself or family members head to your local doctor’s office to get checked out. In most cases, skin cancer occurs on the face and neck so these areas need extra

Head to the BC Cancer Agency’s website for more info.