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Runners and Skin Cancer

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jon c
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Post  Mrs. Schuey Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:45 pm

With summer upon us and a lot of us running outdoors, please remember to use your sunscreen. Don't forget to put sunscreen under your chin - the sun reflects off of the sidewalk and onto the underside of your chin.

http://www.skincancer.org/running-into-the-sun.html

http://www.chiff.com/articles/skin-cancer-runners.htm
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Post  Julie Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:53 am

I was wondering about runners who get up really early, though. I'm home before sunrise most mornings and only just barely burn on a few long runs during the summer.

My great-grandpa had skin cancer, among other things so I'm not brushing it off, but I just don't feel like putting it on at 5 a.m.

I do sun screen my little strawberry blonde fair-skinned daughter, of course.
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Post  Kenny B. Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:31 am

I had a two pre-cancerous moles removed from my shoulder and back a few years ago. Dr scarred me good 8 stiches each to show for it. Took out a nice chunk to say the least. I can tell you it was not pleasant having them removed as you are awake and can hear and feel them digging and cutting and stiching. I remember meditating while procedures were done. (2 separate appointments).

I used to be a sun worshiper. Some say a Sun God sunny . But now I could care less about laying outside and if I run in the sun I spray my body as soon as I get up. Not hours before but a good 45 minutes.

That said today I left my dam spray at home and 2 hours in the sun at beach! But it was only from 6:30 to 8:30 so not terrible. Ughh!
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Post  dot520 Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:46 pm

I'm all for sunscreen, but I'm still waiting for the media to come out and say that the chemical that provides sunscreen causes cancer. If not skin cancer somewhere else in or on your body. It never fails.
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Post  Dave Wolfe Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:55 pm

Important to keep in mind. There is also clothing that works (expensive). I use it mainly for the long runs.
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Post  Stephanie Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:19 pm

My dad just had a mark removed from his shoulder recently and tested positive for regressing melanoma. It's an especially insidious form of skin cancer. A mark appears. You make an appointment with a doc. A little while later the mark gets better and disappears, so you cancel the appointment thinking it's better. But the cancer has gone 'underground' and starts spreading. By the time the cancer reappears, you're usually in trouble. Sad Until 4 days ago I had never known that skin cancer could do this. Scary - I know if I had a mark and it went away I would think I was just worrying about nothing. #%&# Cancer!

P.S. Docs think they caught things before they started spreading for my dad but further testing has to be done to be sure.
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Post  Julie Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:42 pm

dot520 wrote:I'm all for sunscreen, but I'm still waiting for the media to come out and say that the chemical that provides sunscreen causes cancer. If not skin cancer somewhere else in or on your body. It never fails.

Yeah that's why barrier screens like zinc oxide are the best, especially for little children.
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Post  Peg Coover Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:15 pm

dot520 wrote:I'm all for sunscreen, but I'm still waiting for the media to come out and say that the chemical that provides sunscreen causes cancer. If not skin cancer somewhere else in or on your body. It never fails.

I know! I have always jokingly said that too....But back when we were kids and they started coming out with sunblock it had PABA in it and now sunscreens usually are labeled "PABA-free"....
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Post  Tom H Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:17 am

I prefer to run without a hat just because it geels better to have the wind in the hair. When I do and put sunblock on, I struggle with putting it on my forehead since it mixes with the sweat and when that toxic mixture gets in the eyes, hooboy does it sting. I seem to remember a post way back that said to put an inverted 'V' of body glide on the forehead and the sweat will run down the edges of the V and around the eyes. I haven't tried it, but am interested in other ways to deal with this. Any ideas?
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Post  Nick Morris Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:43 am

I don't use sunscreen when I run. I know, I should, But I don't. Unfortunitely it will probably take having something removed to scare me into doing it.
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Post  jon c Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:29 pm

dot520 wrote:I'm all for sunscreen, but I'm still waiting for the media to come out and say that the chemical that provides sunscreen causes cancer. If not skin cancer somewhere else in or on your body. It never fails.

You want it, you got it!

http://www.aolnews.com/2010/05/24/study-many-sunscreens-may-be-accelerating-cancer/

Thanks Mrs. Schuey for reminding us of the importance of being smart and informed regarding skin cancer! I may be a bit of a contrarian regarding some health issues, so I hope that those of us who want to be fully informed on health issues will be open to another point of view.

I believe that sunscreen is useful especially if one is fair skinned. However in our seemingly all or nothing culture, the pendulum seems to have gone too far the other way than years ago IMO. Too much sun can cause damage no doubt.

Consider...

The most common vitamin deficiency in our society today is Vitamin D. And the most efficient way for you to get Vitamin D into your body.....?? You're right, it's sunlight exposure directly to the skin. There are literally reams of research on Vitamin D and how important it is as a deterrent to cancer, heart disease and other chronic degenerative diseases, so this is not something a person should take lightly IMO. The below articles are recent and are just a sample of what's out there regarding Vitamin D.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/27/health-heart-idUSL3E7HR04620110627

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/51934026-80/600-adults-blood-deficient.html.csp

My opinion is to get your exposure to sun either early in the AM (ie before 10am in the summer) or evening (after 6pm). If you're out during peak hours for burn, usually between 10 and 3, expose for short durations depending on your skin shade.

Please don't hear me saying not to use sunscreen at all. My wife and daughter are both very fair skinned. But beware of using it too much as it may actually be causing more potential harm than good.

Thanks for reading!
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Post  Natalie Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:24 pm

I don't believe the vitamin D deficiency research points solely toward increased use of sunscreen. We live in a very couch-oriented society. People don't get out doors. They are inactive and obese. It doesn't take that much exposure to the sun to get enough vitamin D. Recent sunscreen studies pointed to spray sunscreens, so even though they are certainly convenient, we might want to revert back to the old fashioned lotion kind. Although, a recent search of Walgreens and Target proves that they are not that easy to find anymore!

I wear sunscreen and a hat. I'm not just concerned with melanoma but with wrinkles and age spots. My vanity has outlived my sun worshipping days -- and believe me, there were a lot of those!
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Post  Pete B Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:51 pm

I, on the other hand, decided to have a very rare form of skin cancer -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatofibrosarcoma_protuberans

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) [1] is a very rare tumor. It is a rare neoplasm of the dermis layer of the skin,[2] and is classified as a sarcoma. There is only about 1 case per million per year.

Not necessarily related to sun exposure, but I have taken very few chances in the 21 years since my surgury and now see a dermatologist once a year.
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Post  jon c Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:24 pm

Natalie Wolf wrote:I don't believe the vitamin D deficiency research points solely toward increased use of sunscreen. We live in a very couch-oriented society. People don't get out doors. They are inactive and obese. It doesn't take that much exposure to the sun to get enough vitamin D. Recent sunscreen studies pointed to spray sunscreens, so even though they are certainly convenient, we might want to revert back to the old fashioned lotion kind. Although, a recent search of Walgreens and Target proves that they are not that easy to find anymore!

I wear sunscreen and a hat. I'm not just concerned with melanoma but with wrinkles and age spots. My vanity has outlived my sun worshipping days -- and believe me, there were a lot of those!

Since you mentioned sun worshipping, Connie (my wife) used to lay out in her younger days using only baby oil and suffered a lot of skin damage as a result so I hear you there.

Natalie, I agree that a more sedentary indoor society is part of the blame. One of the reasons I get concerned about this issue is that I have heard runners say on message boards (not here) that their dermatologists tell them to put sunscreen on first thing in the morning every day, no matter what the season. Shocked To me, that is uninformed and overkill at best. Getting your Vitamin D is a big deal from the standpoint of quality of life and longevity from all the research I have seen.

I also wear a hat as most of my running is done during my lunch break on weekdays. My nose seems to burn more easily for some reason.

I do find it ironic that Vitamin D research seems to show that those with a deficiency are more prone to heart problems, lowered immune systems, and yes even more prone to cancer which is what sunscreen is supposed to help protect from. I think the take home message is that if we don't get the sun we require then we'd be well off to take some form of supplementation ie cod liver oil or D derived from animal or fish sources. It seems to me that sun in short doses should help especially in the summer. In the colder climates that is difficult in the winter so get some type of way to get D in you.

I feel this is a good topic of discussion and I like the input that you all have given. Cool

Here's a couple more articles on D, sunlight and the use of sunscreen for those that may be interested.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/heart/articles/2008/06/23/time-in-the-sun-how-much-is-needed-for-vitamin-d_print.html

http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/articles/070608/0608health.vitamind.htm
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Post  Jerry Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:26 pm

Ok, I quit running.
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Post  Mike MacLellan Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:46 pm

Jerry wrote:Ok, I quit running.

I thought you had to actually do something - you know, consistently - in order to "quit" it. Very Happy
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Post  dot520 Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:32 pm

Gene just got back from the Dermatologist. Precancerous cells on his head and forehead. All from major sun exposure (yes, he's lacking a natural covering on his head as well). It's a condition that is ongoing, so he'll be fighting this forever. Actinic Keratosis-Squamous cell.

For those who shave their head or who are blessed with a smooth scalp Laughing , keep it covered up outside!
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Post  jon c Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:45 pm

For those who may be interested: Found another enlightening (in my opinion) article on melanoma and sun exposure. The author reviews a study and then makes comments regarding it. Says evidence points to sun BURN being linked with increased cancer risk, not sun exposure. He even says to (gasp!) "Get a tan".Runners and Skin Cancer 2287476475 Imagine that! Just don't get burned.

Interesting read for sure.

http://www.wellnessandprevention.com/index.cfm/2011/7/14/Sun-Exposure-Cancer-Preventing-or-Cancer-Causing#more
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Post  Natalie Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:59 pm

jon c wrote:For those who may be interested: Found another enlightening (in my opinion) article on melanoma and sun exposure. The author reviews a study and then makes comments regarding it. Says evidence points to sun BURN being linked with increased cancer risk, not sun exposure. He even says to (gasp!) "Get a tan".Runners and Skin Cancer 2287476475 Imagine that! Just don't get burned.

Interesting read for sure.

http://www.wellnessandprevention.com/index.cfm/2011/7/14/Sun-Exposure-Cancer-Preventing-or-Cancer-Causing#more

Says the chiropractor who eschews the science of genetics and wants to sell you a membership to his lifestyle camp and nutritional supplements. He rejects every single study that found a causal link between tanning beds and melanoma. Wear sunscreen or don't wear sunscreen. It's your choice. I've yet to meet a dermatologist who would tell you to go out and get a tan. I now know of a chiropractor, Dr. Chestnut, who gives that advice as long as you first rub some of his natural oils on your body and keep replenishing them as you sweat them off.


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Post  jon c Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:02 pm

Natalie wrote:
jon c wrote:For those who may be interested: Found another enlightening (in my opinion) article on melanoma and sun exposure. The author reviews a study and then makes comments regarding it. Says evidence points to sun BURN being linked with increased cancer risk, not sun exposure. He even says to (gasp!) "Get a tan".Runners and Skin Cancer 2287476475 Imagine that! Just don't get burned.

Interesting read for sure.

http://www.wellnessandprevention.com/index.cfm/2011/7/14/Sun-Exposure-Cancer-Preventing-or-Cancer-Causing#more

Says the chiropractor who eschews the science of genetics and wants to sell you a membership to his lifestyle camp and nutritional supplements. He rejects every single study that found a causal link between tanning beds and melanoma. Wear sunscreen or don't wear sunscreen. It's your choice. I've yet to meet a dermatologist who would tell you to go out and get a tan. I now know of a chiropractor, Dr. Chestnut, who gives that advice as long as you first rub some of his natural oils on your body and keep replenishing them as you sweat them off.



Glad you read the article Natalie!Smile

Yeah I know he sells stuff. And it's pretty pricey too. I don't use any of his supplements, but I do like his focus on changing one's lifestyle as a way to age well. And there are a lot of ways to do that. As you say, you can do it or not. We all have our own choices to make. Natalie, perhaps we are coming from different paradigms regarding health and that's OK. I guess I look at things like this as a way to learn more. Science is inexact at best in terms of how we understand the human body and is changing as we speak especially in the areas of human health, wellness and aging. What is considered fact one day is debunked the next. It becomes quite a challenge to sort through the different studies, often with seemingly contradictory conclusions to see what will last in terms of our understanding of how the body works. Sometimes it boils down to who funded the study and what question was asked in terms of what the study was designed to prove or disprove.

Anyhow carry on.....
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