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85% of skin cancers are caused by UV radiation. Overexposure to the sun and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are known to cause harm to the skin, eyes and immune system. The number one preventable risk factor for the most common forms of melanoma and skin cancers is overexposure to damaging UV radiation.

UV Facts

Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays – UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate deep 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 a sunburn.

Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds, fog and haze.

Fresh white snow reflects up to 88% of the sun’s UV rays, almost doubling a person’s UV exposure. Learn more

Early exposure to tanning beds can increase a person’s chance of developing melanoma by up to 75%.[4] Among those who first used a sunbed before age 35, the risk of melanoma is increased by 59%.[5] Artificial tanning devices emit 15x the amount of UV rays as from sun exposure . WHO, World Health Organization’s International Agency of Research on Cancer panel have declared ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, to be a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance). Learn More

According to World Health Organization (WHO) 85.4% of melanomas among Canadian men and women ages 30+ years are attributed to UV radiation exposure.

Sun Myths

The facts are that there are few, if any, real risks to using sunscreen; in fact, studies show both chemical and physical sunscreens are perfectly safe and effective*. So let’s tackle the sunscreen-related concerns we’ve seen pop up on health blogs recently.
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Tanning Beds

Tanning Equipment & Tanning Beds. There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan. Exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB radiation from tanning equipment can cause sunburn and eye damage, as well as increase the risk of skin cancer and other UV-related negative health effects.
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Winter Sun Safety

Sunburns and short periods of intense UV exposure (e.g., during winter vacation in sun destinations) are linked to skin cancer. Be aware of the health risks of UV radiation.
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Sunscreen FAQ

Use of high-SPF sunscreen (sunscreens labelled with SPF values higher than 50), provides greater protection against sunburn and UV induced skin cell damage [I] over sunscreens with low SPF values.
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Take a melanoma cancer risk assessment

Designed by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), My CancerIQ is a website that helps you understand your risk for cancer and what you can do to help lower that risk. Complete a cancer risk assessment and get your personalized action plan now.
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Prevent Skin Cancer

3 Ways to Block the Rays

It’s important to look after your skin all year long and limit your exposure to damaging UV rays. Protect yourself from sunburns and skin cancer by practicing 3 ways to block the Rays!


Prevent Skin Cancer


3 times more Canadians died from melanoma skin cancer than drowning. Now, it's time to put lifeguard towers where they’re needed most. Melanoma Canada brings you BurnWatch – the first lifeguards for your skin, trained to protect you from harmful UV radiation. And we're coming to a beach near you!


Sun Safe Tips

How To Stay Sun Safe

Youth SUN AWARE Camp Program

In 2014 Melanoma Canada launched the SUN AWARE camp program to protect children and teens from skin cancer by supporting Canadian summer camp owners and directors to implement best practices sun safety and training materials for camp councillors and staff. The award winning program is free for participating camps and the first of its kind in Canada.


Find a Dermatologist Near You

Access to a list of rapid access clinics, mole mapping clinics and other skin cancer specialists across Canada. Additional resources from the Canadian Dermatology Association are provided.

Two women showing their backs looking for skin issues.

Mole Mobile Skin Cancer Screening Unit

Hop aboard Melanoma Canada's Mole Mobile Skin Cancer Screening Unit for a free skin check performed by a certified Canadian Dermatologist. The Mole Mobile will operate for a minimum of five summers (May-Sept) and visit a different part of the country each year.

Get a Skin Check