Friday, March 16, 2012

Every Blurb Counts!

I really enjoy sharing links, thoughts and information that I find regarding melanoma awareness and sun safety.  I also really enjoy reading what others share online.  But what I really enjoy the most is when someone shares information with me in person…someone who generally isn’t active on the Facebook discussions but aware of our mission.  That happened to me at work this week.
It’s been a really difficult few weeks at work as we’ve gone through an ownership transition.  It seems that the workload tripled in the same timeframe, so I’ve been spending far too many hours away from family and BITNP.  On Wednesday morning, I had a short day ahead due to an afternoon dental appointment, so I knew that everyone would try to pack in their day’s requests into that shortened time.  I expected a hellish day.  But my first call from a co-worker was not a work demand, but to inform me that she had found a couple of really good bits of information about melanoma in her Women’s Health magazine.  She wanted to share it with me so that I might share it with others.

Wow, talk about a real pick-me-up!  While the shortened day turned out to be as hectic as anticipated, the morning’s notice of sharing made it anything but hellish.  Thank you Susan for helping me refocus my priorities!  Now on to the information…
The March edition of Women’s Health had an article about four health concerns for women that could be passed along to the next generation.   They were heart disease, depression, breast cancer, and melanoma.  It was cited that the average woman has a 2% risk of being diagnosed with melanoma (that’s 1 in 50).  However, if a woman’s parent had melanoma, she had a 4% risk (1 in 25).  These seem like low percentages, but they point out that any unprotected sun exposure increases your odds exponentially.  This also echoes the genetic relationship I discussed recently in UncontrollableRisk Factors.

This same blurb goes on to describe three ways to reduce your risk.  First, eat up to two ounces of dark chocolate a day.  (I love women’s magazines and their relationship with chocolate).  Apparently digesting the treat “can shield your skin from oxidative damage caused by UV rays, slimming your risk for skin cancer.” 
Secondly, they remind you to read the fine print on sunscreen products.  Look for the words “Broad Spectrum” to get a balance of protection against BOTH UVA and UVB rays.

Lastly, they remind you that car windows do not block UVA rays, so make sure to apply sunscreen on your face, hands and arms when you plan on driving.  A 2010 study notes that there have been more skin cancer occurrences on the left side as a result of unprotected drivers.
The April edition had an article about how certain health concerns can be detected just but examining the eyes.  Within the article was a little blurb which stated that a mole on the eye’s inner layer could be a sign of melanoma.  “Sunlight can wreck havoc on more than your skin – it may increase the risk of developing cancer inside the eyeball.”  My friend was very surprised at this fact!  I hope that many other readers of the magazine got the message.

Kudos to Women’s Health for spreading the word about sun safety. 
As I said, I take great joy in sharing news and information in the interest of sun safety.  But boy is it great to know that word is getting out and coming full circle.  Keep up the mission folks…every little blurb counts!

1 comment:

  1. I just hate it when a magazine has a blurb like that, and then the advertisement on the next page is a deeply tanned model in a swimsuit. Mixed messages, ya know?