Melanoma map shows skin cancer is on the rise in Canada

Source: MC Gill University, June 2022

Rates of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, are on the rise in Canada. Those living in southern and coastal areas are most at risk, according to a new study led by McGill University.

“Cutaneous melanoma causes more deaths than any other skin cancer, accounting for 1.9 per cent of all cancer deaths in men and 1.2 per cent in women in Canada. Globally, there were 290,000 new cases of this form of skin cancer in 2018,” says Dr. Ivan Litvinov, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University.

In Canada, Maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia had the highest incidence rate of melanoma in the country, even after adjusting for other factors such as age. Rates in New Brunswick, Ontario, and British Columbia were also high but comparable to the national average of 20.75 cases per 100,000 people per year, while the prairies provinces and Newfoundland and Labrador had lower rates than the Canadian average. “Melanoma incidence is not uniform across Canada and there are some pockets of the country that are affected much more than the others,” says Dr. Litvinov.