Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Flip Flops, Baseball Caps and Cancer

Did you know flip-flips and baseball caps could pose a hidden health risk when it comes to skin cancer? That’s the word from Dr. Anthony Peterson, from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He says most skin cancers occur on the parts of the body that are repeatedly exposed to the sun. The problem with flip-flops and baseball caps is that they leave the tips of the ears and the tops of the feet dangerously exposed to sun damage. The potential for skin cancers in those areas are real, especially on the tips of the ears.

More than 1 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year, according to the Cancer Society. Most of those cases are considered to be sun-related. They develop on sun-exposed areas of the body, like the face, ear, neck, lips, and the backs of the hands. Depending on the type, they can be fast- or slow-growing, but they rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Doctors say melanoma is almost always curable when it is detected in its early stages. Although melanoma accounts for only a small percentage of skin cancer, it is far more dangerous than other skin cancers, and it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.

You can prevent all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma, by avoiding overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here are some tips from medical experts:

• Use a sunscreen with an SPF of least 15 daily. Wearing sunscreen in the early fall is just as important, too.
• Wear protective clothing outdoors, including a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and pants.
• Stay out of the sun during the midday hours (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.).
• Use a higher SPF when at higher elevations.
• Avoid sunbathing and tanning salons. UV rays from artificial sources such as tanning beds and sunlamps are just as dangerous as those from the sun.
• Set a good example for your children by always using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.


Susan Adcox said...

Good post! Although I am seldom in the sun for long, I noticed that I have quite a tan line on my feet from my flip-flops. I think it is partly because feet, being horizontal, are in the best position to receive the sun's rays. I guess I need to start putting sunscreen on my feet. Who knew?

rosie said...

Wow, this is interesting. Now, does that mean putting screen on the ears and neck in the summer time? Seems like a daily massage is in order with sunscreen.

Debra Stokes said...

There's so much to learn about how to stay healthy. Over exposure to the sun is easy to do and can cause serious damage. Thanks for sharing this information.

Eileen Williams said...

Your suggestions are wise and I'm following them. However, as a blonde who grew up in California in the 50s and 60s, long before sun block, I already did plenty of damage. I've had 3 incidences of skin cancer so far, so am religious about putting on the sunscreen. Right now, I'm up to an SPF of 85!

Sharon/BabyBoomerQueen said...

Having Lupus, and not being able to get in the sun period...I use a sun screen that has grape seed in it. I get burned from second light even...the sun bouncing off the concrete or sand, while sitting in the shade.

Be careful what you are using Baby Boomers, some of the lotions out there actually do more damage to your skin, then help it.

I have 8 articles written on the dangers of sun screen do's and don't do's on Baby Boomer Advisor Club.

Enjoy your summer...
Southern smiles and world peace,
~The Baby Boomer Queen~