skin cancer |  Melanoma on the rise in Canada

skin cancer | Melanoma on the rise in Canada

Melanoma is gaining ground in the country, reveals a study by McGill University. But as more and more Canadians get this form of skin cancer, the fewer they die from it. Here are six highlights from the report.

Posted at 19:07

Henia Ould-Hammou

Henia Ould-Hammou
Press

Falling death rate

For the first time since 2013, the death rate from melanoma has decreased in Canada, the study announces. Researchers at McGill University believe this decline is the result of newer targeted immunotherapy treatments. By comparison, the global death rate increased by 32% between 2008 and 2018.

Increasing incidence rate

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

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

People aged 60 and over, a risk group

People over the age of 60 are at higher risk of getting melanoma. According to the d.r Ivan Litvinov, one of the study’s investigators and an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University, the risk of skin cancer is related to age. The amount of sunburn caught during your teens, twenties, and thirties (cumulative exposure to ultraviolet rays) is also a factor.

The youngest are also at risk of contracting this disease, stresses the Dr Litvinov. Place of residence, personal history and heritage also come into play.

Most affected men

More men than women are affected by melanoma, at a rate of 54% versus 46%. This rate, however, excludes cases of melanoma that appear on the fingers. This type of cancer mainly affects women.

“This difference is likely due to higher UV exposure in nail salons,” says Dr.r Litvinov.

In women, skin cancer affects the legs and arms more. In men, the neck, head and trunk are the most affected.

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

Place of residence: one factor

Melanoma 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 incidence rates. These figures are linked to dangerous behaviors related to sun exposure, specifies the Dr Litvinov.

“There are more opportunities for people to sunbathe in these areas. Water sports clothing should be common practice. People do wear sunscreen, but probably not often enough. As a dermatologist, I tell my patients to go outside, but not to tan. »

Québec excluded

The national study led by McGill University includes data from all Canadian provinces except Quebec. The province of La Belle was excluded, since “the Quebec Cancer Registry has not published data after 2010,” the study stresses.

This delay in the publication of data has already been criticized by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. In an email sent to Pressthe Ministry maintains that “work is being done” to publish the most recent data.

“We do not have data from Quebec from 2010 to 2017, says the Dr Litvinov. But what is true for the other provinces should also be true for Quebec. »


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