Skin Cancer Awareness and Preventive Measures

Skin Cancer Awareness and Preventive Measures

Live Well, Work Well | May 2017 Edition

About 1,200 Canadians die from skin cancer every year. This disease is caused by an overexposure of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sources like the sun and tanning beds. Fortunately, skin cancer is preventable and usually treatable if detected early.

Prevent skin cancer by examining your skin at least once a month and by visiting a qualified dermatologist at least once a year. You should also revisit the dermatologist any time you discover a mole that features any of the following “ABCDE” warning signs:

  • Asymmetry. The two halves of the mole do not match.
  • Borders. The mole edges are uneven, scalloped or notched.
  • Colours. The mole is a variety of shades, such as brown, red, white, blue or black.
  • Diameter. The mole is the size of a pencil eraser or larger than 6 millimetres.
  • Evolution. The mole has changed in size, shape, colour or height, or has begun to bleed, itch or crust.

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to reduce your exposure to UV rays. To prevent UV skin damage, consider doing the following:

  • Avoid the sun when it is strongest—between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with at least 30 sun protection factor (SPF) every day, especially on your ears, nose and lips.
  • Wear a hat that shades your face, neck and ears.
  • Wear clothes with tightly woven fabric.
  • Avoid tanning beds—they are more damaging than the sun.

Protect children from sun damage. Most sun exposure occurs before age 18.

Maintain Your Eyesight

Vision loss is an especially debilitating condition that impacts Canadians of all ages. The following eye conditions can cause vision loss and, in worst cases, blindness:

  • Cataracts – Clouding of the eye
  • Diabetic retinopathy – Blood vessel damage
    in the back of the eye
  • Glaucoma – Optic nerve damage caused by increased eye pressure
  • Macular degeneration – Deterioration caused by aging

To avoid developing these conditions, observe the following safety tips:

  1. Visit your doctor for an eye exam.
  2. Know your family’s eye health history.
  3. Eat dark, leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acids.
  4. Wear protective eyewear when working with dangerous materials.
  5. Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 per cent of UVA and UVB radiation.

Remember to speak with your eye doctor immediately if you detect eyesight problems or have any questions regarding your vision.

Speak to one of our Employee Benefit Consultants at 1-800-661-1518 to learn more health and wellness tips you can share with your employees.

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