May is skin cancer awareness month. It is also the start of warmer weather and sunnier days. This is the third and final blog post about sun and skin safety. Don't forget to check out the first two.
There are three main types of skin cancer, depending on which cells are affected. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.
Skin Safety Tip #5
Have your family doctor investigate any lesions you are concerned about.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common, affecting 50-60 000 Canadians every year. It appears most often in sun exposed areas of the skin (although can occur in non sun-exposed areas), most often on the face, head, and neck. It can appear in a number of ways:
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer (around 20 000 Canadians affected each year). They most commonly appear on sun-exposed areas of the body. It can appear in a number of ways:
May is skin cancer awareness month. It is also the start of warmer weather and sunnier days. This is the second blog post about sun and skin safety.
What is UV radiation? Why do we need to worry about it and protect against it? I have a base tan, why do I need sunscreen? Which SPF sunscreen should I use?
What is UV radiation?
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation produced by the sun (and some man made sources like tanning beds). There are 3 types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The differences between them have to do with wavelength. UVC is the strongest (shortest wavelength), but is absorbed in the earth's ozone layer. UVB light has a medium wavelength and is the stronger of the two types that affect humans. It has a negative impact on your skin cells, and the DNA within them, having a direct link with skin cancers. UVA radiation has the longest wavelength, and is the weakest. It is a stronger contributor to longterm skin damage (wrinkles, leathery skin, etc.) than skin cancer. The term broad spectrum refers to UVR that includes both UVA and UVB.
Why do we need to protect against UV radiation?
According to the ultraviolet-radiation-related exposures in the Report on Carcinogens (1), broad spectrum UVR causes DNA damage, suppression of the immune system, tumor promotion, and mutations in the p53 tumor-suppressor gene leading to skin cancer. Overall, the final result depends on the type of UVR and the ability of our bodies to repair the damaged cells. In cases where skin cancer resulted, the p53 tumor-suppressor gene mutation was present in 90% of human squamous-cell carcinomas. Even more importantly, this gene mutation was found in 74% of sun-exposed skin and 5% of unexposed skin. This indicates the importance sun exposure has on risk of developing skin cancers.
I have a base tan, why do I need sunscreen?
Sunburns are a physiological response to damaged skin cells. Not only are skin cancers more commonly found on areas on the body that have had previous sun exposure, but having had serious sunburns in the past increases your risk of developing these cancers (more sunburns associated with higher risk). Melanin production is also a result of sun exposure. Althougth melanin may help to reflect UVR with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 2-4 (2) during future sun exposure, it was not able to protect your cells during the event that caused the resultant increase in melanin.
Sun Safety Tip #3
Avoid burning. This increases your risk of developing skin cancer (see above).
Sun Safety Tip #4 - Which SPF sunscreen should I use?
Melani rushed into the war room. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at her, holding their breath. She could see in the change of their expressions that they knew what she was going to say. She took and breath and let it out, "she's at the beach!". The alarm sounded and everyone scrambled to their assigned task. Melani slumped into the chair, exhausted. With the change of seasons, the battles were increasing in frequency. Melani knew what their role was, but she wished that Alex, their host, would take the precautions against ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that she advised. Maybe today would be the day... No, she thought to herself, we can't rely on Alex, our defenses have to hold. She thought of the outer perimeter of the skin barrier, the epidermis, where Melani and her team were stationed. It was a great physical barrier. Melani was in charge of a team of melanocytes, whose job it was to produce melanin that would then help to absorb ultraviolet B (UVB) light, helping to prevent the radiation from passing through the dermis and hypodermis, the inner perimeters of the skin barrier. Someone entered the room, and she snapped back to the present, "do you have something to report?" The young melanocyte smiled, "we're in the all clear ma'am, the weather changed, it started to rain. Alex is heading back home".
That evening, while writing up the daily report, she decided to include her suggestions for skin protection again. With the host's help, there was hope to win the war.
May is skin cancer awareness month. It is also the start of warmer weather and sunnier days. That being said we have a few blog posts coming out this month about sun and skin safety.
Sun Safety Tip #1
The FIFA 11+ manual is a complete warm up program designed to prevent injuries for amateur and recreational players who are 14 years or older. The program is designed to replace current warm-up programs before training. Research comparing usual warm up to the 11+ warm up found teams that used the 11+ at least twice a week had 37% fewer training injuries, 29% fewer match injuries, and severe injuries were reduced by about 50%.
There is a reduction in percentage of injuries across all injury types with the 11+ program
The 11+ is broken down into 3 parts (20 minutes total)
Dr. Judith McCann has been living in York Region for over 15 years. After going to Queen's University in Kingston for Kinesiology, and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto to become a chiropractor, she decided to move back and open Haptic Health and Chiropractic in Newmarket. In February 2017, Haptic Health and Chiropractic moved 10 minutes up the road to Sharon in East Gwillimbury.