Protect yourself from skin cancer during outdoor winter sports

Protect yourself from skin cancer during outdoor winter sports

Julia Murray, a Canadian Olympic Ski Cross athlete, is all too familiar with the consequences of not protecting your skin in the winter. Julia lost her father Dave Murray – a two-time Olympian and member of the infamous Crazy Canucks – from an advanced form of skin cancer when she was very young. As a result, Julia is doing everything she can to help raise awareness of this cause, including teaming up with the Melanoma Network of Canada to educate Canadians on the dangers of UV radiation in winter months.

“My father wasn’t aware of the risks of UV radiation in winter,” says Julia. “The winter sun is just as dangerous as summer sun. As a skier myself, I take precautions against winter sun, and I encourage all others who are outside enjoying the slopes or other outdoor activities to do the same this winter.”

Survey results show that men are more relaxed in their attitudes and behaviours towards sun awareness and protection. Men are less likely than women to:

• Accurately identify melanoma as skin cancer (80 per cent vs. 86 per cent);

• Wear sunscreen in all situations, regardless of the season; and

• Consider environmental effects as factors in changing the intensity of UV rays.

Furthermore, when men aged 18 to 34 were asked about their greatest skin-related concern, they ranked moisturizing, preventing pimples and acne and preventing skin cancer equally. This is particularly disconcerting as the lifetime risk of melanoma for men is higher than in women. In fact, men will account for 56 per cent of all new cases of melanoma this year and 62 per cent of deaths.

Canadians spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter and may not realize they are putting themselves at risk by not wearing sunscreen.

“Over exposure to winter sun is dangerous because UV radiation can’t be seen or felt,” says Annette Cyr, chair of the Melanoma Network of Canada. “UV radiation levels are influenced by the sun’s elevation, cloud cover, altitude and reflection – not temperature of the air, which means that sunscreen is required year-round. If skin is left unprotected, the risk of melanoma increases.”

Exposed skin is at risk of more than frostbite

Melanoma is the most aggressive and deadliest form of skin cancer. An estimated 5,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with melanoma this year and 950 will die from it. The survival rate for melanoma is high if it is detected early and, unlike many cancers, melanoma is clearly visible on the skin.

Winter sun safety tips:

• Wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on all exposed areas, and apply just before going outside.

• Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after excessive sweating.

• Protect yourself with clothing, a hat with a brim, and sunglasses year-round.

• Check your skin monthly to detect malignant melanoma early.

• More information on winter sun safety is available at www.melanomanetwork.ca

 

 

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

(TNRD Library)
Let the mystery of the Summer Reading Club begin

Are you ready to ‘Crack the Case’ at the Barriere Library?

(Metro Creative photo)
Gardeners of all ages invited to enter 2021 NT Fall Fair contests

The North Thompson Fall Fair Drive Thru scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4,… Continue reading

Milsom Lodge was built in the East Barriere Valley when the Milsom brothers purchased two parcels of land in 1911, DL 2323 and DL2324. (Milsom’s photo)
The Milsom Lodge: The mansion, the ballroom, the history

“At the turn of the century, when so many families were leaving… Continue reading

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Most Read