Spot It!

Preamble

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “the incidence of melanoma and other skin cancers has increased in recent decades. At present, […] one in three cancers diagnosed is skin cancer ”.

Melanoma is a major public health problem in Canada; it is now estimated that  7,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2017. In addition, this disease can reach a relatively young population and its prognosis is unfortunately grim if not caught at an early stage. The risk factors for the development of melanoma are multiple and include, among others, exposure to UV rays, especially during childhood and adolescence. Unfortunately, however, there are not enough campaigns to raise awareness of the harmful effects of the sun, and the media too often seem to promote tanned skin as a criterion of beauty. In this context, an education campaign could therefore lead to a significant change in the behavior of young people.

The Project

The “Spot It!” project, created in 2013 and approved by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sherbrooke, consists essentially of a dynamic presentation of about forty minutes, given by medical students from Quebec and aimed at an age group from the third to the fifth year of secondary school.

Three main themes are discussed during the presentation:

  • the deleterious effects of UV rays on the skin from an aesthetic point of view (wrinkles, dark spots, thickening of the skin)
  • skin cancers, with a focus on melanoma (risk factors, how to recognize it, prognosis)
  • prevention and early detection methods (sun protection, skin inspection, alternatives to tanning)

The approach is highly interactive; young people are encouraged to ask questions and discuss the different themes covered during the presentation. It is all done in a positive tone that prompts students to examine their own tanning habits and knowledge and the myths they may face. The goal is obviously not to scare them, but rather to provide them with relevant information, and to give them a sense of empowerment and control over their decisions regarding sun exposure.

Questions?

For any other information or questions, please contact

Chloé Moazzami
Co-coordinator of Spot It! (Montreal)
[email protected]

Claudiu Toma
Co-coordinator of Spot It! (Montreal)
[email protected]

Languages »