New Publication – Skin Cancer & Atlantic Canada

Atlantic PATH participants were invited to participate in the SunFit study led by Dr. Ivan Litvinov at McGill University. A new publication focuses on assessing skin cancer risk factors, sun safety behaviours and melanoma concern in Atlantic Canada. Melanoma skin cancer can largely be prevented through education, sun protection, screening, and public health campaigns. However, incidence rates have been increasing and the highest age-standardized incidence rates in Canada found in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (27.66 and 30.94 cases per 100,000, respectively). In contrast, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick have rates below or comparable to the Canadian average (16.63 and 19.99 per 100,000, respectively).

The SunFit study found that participants in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had higher overall rates of sun exposure, as well as the greatest percentage of the skin type with a predisposition to burn. The findings of the study suggest that increased sun exposure, rather than lack of awareness or use of sun protection, may be driving the higher rates of melanoma in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island compared to Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Sun Fit project continues to expand this work to other Canadian regions.