Melanoma is gaining ground in the country, reveals a study by McGill University. But while more and more Canadians are getting this form of skin cancer, fewer are dying from it. Here are six highlights from the report.
Posted at 7:07 pm.
Falling mortality rate
For the first time since 2013, the death rate from melanoma has dropped in Canada, the study announces. McGill University researchers believe this decline is the result of new targeted immunotherapy treatments. In comparison, the global death rate increased by 32% between 2008 and 2018.
Increasing incidence rate
In Canada, the number of skin cancer cases increases by 0.5 per 100,000 people each year. Between 1992 and 2010, the incidence rate 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 may explain these incidence rates, which are expected to continue to rise.
People aged 60 and over, a risk group
People age 60 and older are at higher risk of getting melanoma. According to D.r Ivan Litvinov, one of the study’s researchers and an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University, the risk of getting skin cancer is age-related. The number of sunburns detected during the teens, twenties and thirties (cumulative exposure to ultraviolet rays) is also a factor.
Younger people are also at risk of contracting this disease, underlines the Dr Litvinov. Place of residence, personal history and heredity also come into play.
most affected men
More men than women are affected by melanoma, a proportion of 54% against 46%. This rate, however, excludes cases of melanoma appearing on the fingers. This type of cancer mainly affects women.
“This difference is likely due to increased UV exposure in salons,” notes Dr.r Litvinov.
In women, skin cancer affects the legs and arms more. In men, the neck, head and torso of men are most affected.
“Men tend to be more exposed to the sun and use less sunscreen than women,” explains the professor at McGill University. Women tend to use more shorts and skirts. The longer hair, make-up and sunscreen they use naturally protect them more from the sun. »
Place of residence: a 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 numbers 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 use sunscreen, but probably not often enough. As a dermatologist, I tell my patients to go outside, but not to tan. »
The national study led by McGill University includes data from every province in Canada except Quebec. The beautiful province was excluded as “the Quebec Cancer Registry did not publish data after 2010”, the study underlines.
This delay in publishing the data has already been criticized by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. In an email sent to The pressthe ministry maintains that “work is in progress” to disseminate the most recent data.
“We do not have data for Quebec from 2010 to 2017, says the Dr Litvinov. But what is true for the other provinces must also be true for Quebec. »