I love being outside in the spring, summer and fall. I love the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of the birds in the trees, the beauty of my flowers, and the heat of the sun.
I love the heat.
I am not one to sit out in the sun, but I have made the mistake of forgetting my sunscreen while working outside. And I have paid for that mistake. Blisters, raw skin and not being able to sleep because of the pain.
Can you answer these sun awareness questions?
Protected from the sun under an umbrella?
Protected from the sun on a cloudy day?
Protected from the sun under the water?
Protected from the sun if you wear a ball cap?
Protected from the sun if you go to a tanning salon first?
If you don’t know or unsure, you need to pay more attention to your sun health habits. (BTW the answer is no to all of the above)
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer since it’s more likely to spread to other parts of the body. It is increasing in both men and women and is the second most common cancer for Ontarians between the ages of 15 and 34.
In 2007, it’s estimated that 900 people will die from melanoma in Canada. Non-melanoma skin cancer, a less deadly type of skin cancer, is the most commonly occurring cancer, accounting for about one-third of all cancer cases.
Nearly 90% of melanomas are thought to be caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight. It takes only one blistering sunburn, especially at a young age, to more than double a person’s chance of developing melanoma later in life. Melanomas can develop anywhere on your body. They most often develop in areas that have had exposure to the sun, such as your back, legs, arms and face.
Melanoma Think ABCDE
To help you identify characteristics of unusual moles that may indicate melanomas or other skin cancers, think of the letters ABCDE:
A is for asymmetrical shape.
B is for irregular border.
C is for changes in color.
D is for diameter.
E is for evolving.
Melanoma Risk Factors
- Fair skin
- A history of sunburn
- Excessive ultraviolet (UV) light exposure
- Living closer to the equator or at a higher elevation
- Having many moles or unusual moles
- A family history of melanoma
- Weakened immune system
Beverly’s Hot Tips To Follow So You Can Enjoy Healthy Outdoor Activities In The Sun and Celebrate Sun Awareness Week:
Slip – Slap – Slop
- Slip! on clothing to protect your arms and legs.
- Slap! on a wide-brimmed hat.
- Slop! on sunscreen with SPF #30 or higher.
- Reduce sun exposure between 11am and 4pm.
- Seek shade or create your own shade.
- Keep babies under one year out of the direct sun.
- Do not use artificial tanning equipment, beds and sun lamps.
- Examine Your Skin Regularly!
It’s All About Preparation
Be a good role model to your family and friends. Wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, light, loose-fitting clothing, sunscreen and lip balm that includes an SPF .
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!