Weekly Wellness: Sun safety

1 year 7 months 4 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
HOLTS SUMMIT - A city administrator says he doesn't want Holts Summit to be a "trashy" town. Rick Hess... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:43:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - Mid-Missouri hospitals are facing shortages of IV bags as doctors scramble against a particularly difficult flu season.... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:22:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – People from the city of Columbia gathered at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to discuss a community-oriented policing... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:09:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some homeless shelters in Columbia are at capacity and have waiting lists as temperatures plunge to near zero... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 5:22:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced her office has begun an audit of the village of Centertown.... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 3:47:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Several Republican lawmakers are calling for Gov. Eric Greitens, resignation after having an affair with an unnamed... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:54:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officials and the community are on high alert after two attempted child abductions, a little over a... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia cancelled residential garbage collections Tuesday due to extreme cold temperatures, but that doesn't mean... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:07:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - Firefighters are investigating a fire that left one person dead Monday night. Virginia Saemp, a neighbor,... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:09:00 AM CST January 16, 2018 in News
LINCOLN — A man has been arrested in a deadly shooting at a west-central Missouri mobile home park. ... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:18:00 AM CST January 16, 2018 in News
FULTON - A circuit judge sentenced a Holts Summit man to 23 years in prison after his 17-year-old girl foster... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 11:00:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department identified the victims of last Thursday's quadruple shooting that killed two and... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 10:26:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Nineteen restaurants in downtown Columbia created special lunch and dinner menus for customers to order from for the... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 8:59:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is delaying a planned tour to talk about his tax change... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 7:53:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Schools are closed Tuesday and one local business is hoping they will be able to capitalize... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 7:44:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - People of all backgrounds filled the seats in the bottom of SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 4:46:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's NAACP chapter hosted their annual 24th Martin Luther King, Jr. Day memorial program. The theme for... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 4:08:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police say a man robbed the Best Buy on Worley Street and then held a customer and... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 1:10:16 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds
2am
3am
4am
5am