Story 19

Protecting Canadians from skin cancer

Rachelle Pitre used to think that having a tan was cool. When she was a teenager, she started going to indoor tanning salons. Over the next decade, she became a frequent client. That all changed when she was diagnosed with skin cancer.

The Quebec woman had to endure multiple excruciating surgeries in order to remove the numerous tumours that had grown in her body. She was one of the lucky ones: at age 31, Rachelle became a cancer survivor. She's had to make several major lifestyle changes, such as avoiding sun exposure.

Until her diagnosis, Rachelle had no idea that indoor tanning salons increase the risk of developing cancer. Now, she has joined the Canadian Cancer Society's fight to raise awareness of the dangers of tanning. Her efforts were recently rewarded when Quebec passed a new law banning youth from indoor tanning salons.

Thanks to the Society's efforts across the country in recent years, several provinces have prohibited minors from indoor tanning salons. We will continue fighting to ensure all young Canadians are protected from the risks of indoor tanning.

About half of all cancers are preventable, and supporting cancer prevention is a big part of what we do. Want to get involved? Learn more about how you can influence public policy as a volunteer advocate in your community.