Volume 2 Issue 5

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Abby's Magazine - September / October 2014 | Page 19 can metastasize, or spread, throughout the body. Early detection is vital to survival. Melanoma will account for about 76,100 cases of skin cancer in 2014, resulting in about 9,710 deaths, says the ACS. In total, more than one million individuals will be treated for basal and squamous cell carcinoma this year. The Quest for a Safe Tan If you think tanning in a salon protects you from the dangers of cancer and aging, think again. Tanning beds and lamps can double the risk for basal cell and squamous cell cancers, according to research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Vol. 94, No. 3, 224-226, 2/6/02). In fact, researchers believe tanning salons should be off limits to kids. With squamous cell cancer risk 3.6 times higher than among the general population, the danger of this disease is more pronounced among folks who first used tanning devices before age 20. "We need to think about protecting adolescents and informing adults of what the risks really are," explains Margaret R. Karagas, first author of the study. "We do that for other carcinogenic exposures such as tobacco." The American Cancer Society agrees. "Tanning lamps emit UVA and frequently emit a lot of UVB also. Both UVA and UVB can cause serious skin damage, and both contribute to formation of skin cancers." There are no safe UV rays; therefore, there are no safe tans. Safer Sun Most folks, and especially children, don't want to stay indoors on a beautiful day and they shouldn't have to. But simple precautions can minimize exposure to the damaging rays of the sun. In lieu of thinking of sun protection only when you're going to the beach or the pool, keep in mind that sun exposure adds up. Even those trips to your car, a walk with the dog or an afternoon at a Little League game create collective damage. Try to avoid exposure when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. When outdoors, wear as much protective clothing as possible and be sure to slather on sunscreen, particularly before and after exercise or swimming. Natural food stores have a choice of quality sun blocks that are less likely to irritate skin. Look for a broad-spectrum product with an SPF of at least 15, which blocks out 93 percent of the burning UV rays. A hat with a two to three inch brim will provide overall protection, while a baseball cap leaves the back of the neck and ears exposed, common areas where cancers develop. Protect lips with sunscreen lip balm and eyes with sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays. Protection from the Inside Out While we need oxygen to live, oxygen-using reactions that burn fats and carbohydrates release by-products called free radicals – destructive molecules that send DNA and cell membranes into disarray. These very same free radicals are generated when sunlight hits your skin or beams into the delicate structure of your eyes. Fortunately, our bodies employ a line of defense known as antioxidants, which destroy destructive free radicals or render them harmless. But frequently the stress of daily life and the effects of sunlight deplete our body of these helpful antioxidants. That's when we especially need to boost our protective supply with proper foods and antioxidant-rich supplements. Adequate skin protection demands beta-carotene rich foods, including apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, and romaine lettuce. The antioxidant vitamin C is found plentifully in strawberries, broccoli, orange juice, and collard greens. You can get natural vitamin E in

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