Weekly Wellness: Sun safety

1 year 10 months 5 days ago Monday, June 13 2016 Jun 13, 2016 Monday, June 13, 2016 4:43:00 PM CDT June 13, 2016 in News
By: Christina Salonikas, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
loading

COLUMBIA - Summer generally means it’s time to be outside playing golf, softball, hanging at the pool, and so many other activities. So we need to be diligent about protecting our skin.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. About 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in this country each year. Melanoma, a more dangerous type of skin cancer, will account for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015.

Basal, squamous, melanoma? What do these words even mean? Well, these are the names of the cells within which the cancers can start. There are basal cells, squamous cells and melanocytes.

Most basal and squamous cell cancers develop on sun-exposed areas of the skin, like the face, ears, neck, lips, and the backs of the hands. Basal cell cancers tend to grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. Where squamous cell cancers are more likely to grow into deeper layers of skin and to spread. One important item to note is that both basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers can be cured if found and treated early – when they are small and have not spread.

Melanoma is a bit trickier... melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes (those are the cells that make the skin pigment known as melanin, which gives the skin its color). Melanoma can start on nearly any part of the skin, even in places that are not normally exposed to the sun. Melanoma is almost always curable when it’s found in its very early stages. While melanoma accounts for a small percentage of skin cancers, it’s much more likely to grow and spread to other parts of the body. Because of this, melanoma causes most skin cancer deaths (accounting for nearly 10,000 of the more than 13,000 skin cancer deaths each year).

The American Cancer Society provides this list of risk factors for skin cancer:

  • Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (from sunlight, tanning beds, sunlamps)
  • Pale skin (easily sunburned, doesn’t tan much or at all, natural red or blond hair)
  • Exposure to large amounts of coal tar, paraffin, arsenic compounds, or certain types of oil
  • You or members of your family have had skin cancers
  • Multiple or unusual moles
  • Severe sunburns in the past
  • Weakened immune system
  • Older age

This is a list of potential symptoms:

  • Any change on your skin, especially in the size or color of a mole, growth, or spot, or a new growth (even if it has no color)
  • Scaliness, roughness, oozing, bleeding, or a change in the way an area of skin looks
  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • The spread of pigmentation (color) beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark
  • A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain

If you notice any of these on your own body or on the body of a loved one, make an appointment with your physician and get them checked out.

The best ways to lower your risk of skin cancer are to avoid long exposure to intense sunlight and practice sun safety. You can still exercise and enjoy the outdoors while using sun safety at the same time. Here are some ways to be sun safe:

  • Seek shade, especially in the middle of the day (between 10 am and 4 pm) when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Stay covered with comfortable, light clothing when you’re out in the sun. Choose garments that are made of tightly woven fabrics that you can’t see through when held up to a light.
  • Use sunscreen and lip balm with broad spectrum protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. And remember you must reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear hats that are able to shade your face, ears, and neck. (For you baseball cap wearers, remember to protect your ears and neck with sunscreen.)
  • Wear sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB absorption to protect your eyes and the surrounding skin.
  • Avoid other sources of UV light (i.e. tanning beds and sun lamps).

 I hope you’ll stay sun safe this summer.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is cutting 17 professors and administrators. University officials said... More >>
51 minutes ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:03:20 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department used the former Macy's building off of Stadium Blvd. on Thursday to train its... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a man was stabbed in the neck in the 2900 block of Range Line Street Thursday... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:37:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
FORDLAND (AP) — Officials said a maintenance worker died when a Missouri television station tower collapsed and he became trapped... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:31:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A Missouri woman accused of dealing drugs from a home where an ex-convict fatally shot one police... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:01:48 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Deputies identified a man whose body was found tangled in fishing lines on Wednesday as Timothy G.... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Hazmat teams responded to the state capitol Thursday after Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal got an envelope with an... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:41:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri Senate panel has declined to advance a proposed tax overhaul following estimates that it... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:09:33 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 65-year-old man who was a major heroin dealer in the Kansas City area has... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:45:26 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - A judge announced Thursday he will not dismiss the criminal invasion of privacy case against Gov. Eric... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:02:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors said a man shot by suburban Kansas City police in January has died, but... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 9:22:59 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The third annual Unbound Book Festival kicks off tonight, facing questions over its leadership's commitment to diversity and... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:49:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - Firefighters are looking into the cause of a fire that killed four children early Thursday morning. ... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:16:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A majority of Republicans passed a tax bill Tuesday night, but it is still drawing some criticism... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
TIPTON – Some Tipton residents spoke out Wednesday against a potential new concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). Critics say CAFOs... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pamela Fitzmaurice has a special section in the cookbook her mother passed down to her. That section is... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rico was left powerless on Wednesday, nearly seven months after the powerful September storm,... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:32:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens filed a restraining order against Attorney General Josh Hawley on Monday over the investigation... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 4:34:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
4pm 54°
5pm 55°
6pm 54°
7pm 53°