skin cancer | Skin cancer is on the rise in Canada

A study from McGill University revealed that skin cancer is gaining momentum in the country. But while more and more Canadians are getting this type of skin cancer, fewer are dying from it. Here are six highlights from the report.

Posted at 7:07 pm.

Haniyeh Ould Hamou

Haniyeh Ould Hamou

Low death rate

The study announced, for the first time since 2013, a decrease in the death rate from melanoma in Canada. Researchers at McGill University believe this decrease is the result of new targeted immunotherapies. By comparison, the global death rate increased by 32% between 2008 and 2018.

high infection rate

In Canada, the number of cases of skin cancer increases by 0.5 per 100,000 people each year. Between 1992 and 2010, the incidence was 12.29 per 100,000 people. Shows 20.75 between 2011 and 2017.

According to the report, climate change and the thinning of the ozone layer could explain infection rates that are expected to continue to increase.

People over 60 years old, an at-risk group

People 60 years of age or older are most likely to develop skin cancer. according to ds Ivan Litvinov, one of the study authors and assistant professor in the McGill University Department of Medicine, finds that the risk of skin cancer is age-related. The number of sunburns detected during the teens, 20s, and 30s (cumulative UV exposure) is also a factor.

Younger people are also at risk of developing this disease, assures Drs Litvinov. Place of residence, personal history, and heredity also come into play.

Men are more affected

Men get more skin cancer than women, 54% versus 46%. However, this rate excludes cases of skin cancer that appear on the fingers. This type of cancer mainly affects women.

Dr. notes.s Litvinov.

In women, melanoma affects more of the legs and arms. In men, the neck, head, and torso of men are most affected.

“Men tend to expose themselves to the sun more and use less sunscreen than women,” explains the McGill University professor. Women tend to wear more shorts and skirts. Their long hair, makeup, and sunscreen that they use naturally protects them more from the sun. »

Residence: worker

Skin cancer affects more people who live in the southern and coastal regions of the country. The highest mortality and incidence rates were recorded in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Southern Ontario, New Brunswick, and southern British Columbia also have high infection rates. These numbers correlate with risky behaviors related to sun exposure, and Drs Litvinov.

“There are more opportunities for people to sunbathe in these areas. Water sports clothing should be a common practice. People use sunscreen, but it probably isn’t enough. As a dermatologist, I tell my patients to get out of the house, but not to tan.” »

Quebec excluded

The McGill University national study includes data from all provinces in Canada except Quebec. The beautiful province was excluded, because “the Quebec Cancer Registry did not publish data after 2010,” the study confirms.

This delay in releasing the data has already been criticized by the Department of Health and Social Services. In an email sent to JournalismThe Ministry confirms that “work is underway” to publish the latest data.

says ds Litvinov. But what is true of other provinces must also be true of Quebec. »

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