bryan college logo
Request Info
Apply Now

Sun Safety: Highlighting Skin Cancer Awareness Month

A person using a magnifying glass to look at a mole
Bryan College
May 13, 2024

May marks the beginning of summer weather and is also Melanoma & Skin Cancer Awareness Month — a time devoted to highlighting skin cancer and educating people on how to check themselves for signs of skin cancer and what they can do to protect their skin from the sun. 

Skin Cancer Risk Factors

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer; it can impact anyone and can happen anywhere on your skin. 

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and is especially hard to stop once it spreads to other parts of the body, but it’s highly treatable if caught early.1

Risk factors for all types of skin cancer include: 

  • Excess exposure to UV radiation from sunlight or use of indoor tanning
    • The majority of melanoma cases are attributable to UV exposure
  • Skin that burns easily; blonde or red hair; a history of excessive sun exposure, including sunburns; tanning bed use; a weakened immune system; and a history of skin cancer
  • People with more than 50 moles, atypical moles, or large moles are at an increased risk of developing melanoma, as are sun-sensitive individuals

Skin Cancer Self-Exams

The Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation recommends self-examinations for skin cancer once a month. It’s important to check your entire body, including places like the armpits or the soles of the feet that aren’t usually exposed to the sun. 

Utilize the ABCDEs of Early Detection when checking your skin for signs of skin cancer. If you find something that could be considered suspicious, get seen by a doctor. 

The ABCDEs of Early Detection

  • Asymmetry. Do the two halves not match if you imagine drawing a line through the mole?
  • Borders. Are the edges uneven, scalloped, or notched?
  • Colours. Are there many shades (brown, red, white, blue or black)?
  • Diameter greater than 6mm. Is the mole the size of a pencil eraser or larger?
  • Evolution. Has there been a change in size, shape, color, or height? Has a new symptom developed (like bleeding, itching or crusting)?

Protecting Your Skin

To protect your skin when you’re outside, dermatologists recommend the following: 

  • Seek shade! The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
    • Tip: Look at your shadow - if it’s shorter than you, seek shade
  • Wear sun-protective clothing like lightweight long-sleeve shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection 
  • Apply sunscreen, find one that offers broad-spectrum protection, is water resistant, and SPF 30 or higher 

Learn more about Skin Cancer Awareness Month and the importance of checking your skin by visiting the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation’s website

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. “Skin Cancer.”, August 11, 2023.

Request information

By submitting this form, I agree that Bryan College may contact me regarding educational services via email, telephone, text message, or automated technology at the email address and phone numbers provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll. For more information, please call: 1-888-641-6300.
bryan college logo


Registered as a career college under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.

Member of OCPMTC

Ontario Council of Private Massage Therapy Colleges

Copyright © 2024 | Bryan College | 1200 Lawrence Ave. West , North York, ON M6A 1E3
Request Info