Weekly Wellness: Sun safety

2 years 2 months 2 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
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged a Columbia man with murder Thursday, two months after deputies found a woman dead in a... More >>
3 minutes ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 4:16:29 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA - A convicted murderer charged with the killing of an Eldon girl in 1984 got a change of venue... More >>
22 minutes ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 3:57:13 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - Gov. Mike Parson, lawmakers and agriculture experts talked to Missouri farmers at the State Fair Thursdsay, to assure... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:54:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are searching for the man pictured above, saying he is a suspect in a Thursday morning... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:50:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An invasive beetle has spread to 11 new counties in Missouri. The emerald ash borer kills more than... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:27:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri announcement a financial windfall Thursday that will help feed hundreds... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri candidate who recently claimed a surprise victory in the Republican primary for state... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:05:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis housing complex where reported... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:57:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - St.Louis-based SSM Health confirmed Thursday it is exploring a transfer of its Jefferson City and Mexico hospitals to... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:28:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport managers held the first All Things Airport monthly meeting on Thursday. The meeting was... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in Top Stories
(CNN) - Aretha Franklin, whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title "the Queen of Soul,"... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Thursday morning's latest drought update from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) shows the expansion of drought... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:15:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who's charged with killing her 5-year-old daughter and critically injuring her 1-year-old son... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 8:38:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jetliner taking off narrowly missed hitting an airport van that crossed a runway to go to... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former Missouri state trooper who was driving a boat when a handcuffed Iowa man fell... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:41:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - A multiple vehicle accident shut down both sides of Interstate 70 Wednesday around 7 p.m. At least... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department opened a new substation in northeast Columbia on Wednesday. It's located off of Paris... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:36:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – In his first comments on the extended period of weekend violence in downtown Columbia, Police Chief Ken Burton... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 93°
5pm 91°
6pm 90°
7pm 89°
8pm 85°