How to Prevent and Detect Melanoma


Be aware of the health risks of UV radiation. The number one preventable risk factor for the most common form of melanoma is overexposure to damaging UVR. Overexposure to the sun and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are known to cause harm to the skin, eyes and immune system. About 65% of melanomas worldwide can be attributed to UVR exposure.

Did you get a sunburn in 2018?

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Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays – (UVA) and (UVB) rays. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles, age spots and worse, potentially skin cancer including melanoma. UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn.

Up to 80% of hte suns rays can penetraete clouds, fog and haze
65% of melanomas worldwide can be attributed to uv radiation


  • SEEK SHADE between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. when UV radiation is at its peak·
  • WEAR SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING that covers as much of your body as possible
  • WEAR A BROAD-BRIMMED HAT that shades your face, neck and ears
  • APPLY SPF 30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen generously to clean, dry skin, at least 15 minutes before sun exposure (Visit our sunscreen page to learn more)
  • REAPPLY SUNSCREEN at least every two hours when outdoors 


Do not use artificial sources of UV radiation indoors. People who have tanned indoors have about a 75 percent higher risk of developing melanoma or other forms of skin cancer. Any tan or change in skin colour is a sign of skin damage.

There is no such thing as a safe tan!

The World Health Organization has issued a recommendation against the use of tanning equipment. Tanning is not a safe source of vitamin D. The best way to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D is by taking a vitamin D supplement and including D-rich food sources, such as milk or milk alternatives, such as fortified soy and almond beverages in your diet.

Did you use a tanning bed in 2016?

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Did you have your moles checked during your last annual checkup?

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What is the best way to prevent and detect melanoma?

Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital.

What you need to know to keep you safe while enjoying the summer

Thu, May 18: The sun is strongest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. You need to use sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, every day of the year. Susan Hay sits down with Dr. Paul Cohen, a board-certified dermatologist, to find out what you need to do to protect yourself.

Canadian Cancer Society. Melanoma Overview. Available at:

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press; 2011. Available at:

National Cancer Institute. What You Need To Know About Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers.

World Health Organization. Skin cancers. Available at: ttp://

“The Association of Use of Sunbeds with Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers: A Systematic Review,” International Journal of Cancer 120, no. 5(2006): 1116 – 1122. Available at: