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Let's discuss...sun safety
 
 96b972e26eaac6fede7a636aba617a23-huge-ju

No one is completely safe from the sun. In Canada, sunlight is strong enough to cause skin cancer, premature aging of the skin and harm to the eyes. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and it’s also one of the most preventable.

How do you protect yourself from the sun?
Have you taken extra precautions since being diagnosed with cancer or since your loved one was diagnosed?


 
38 Replies
Jlo
169 Posts
I always protect myself now before going out in the sun or haze  with sunscreen and a hat.  I get some funny looks sometimes,  but I really don't care!    I have bought some funky summer hats.  I have found several natural sunscreens at my local Pharmasave store nearby.  I am sure other drug or food chains carry natural sunscreens, but I like  to support my ex employer.  

i am planning on wearing sleeves for doing quick chores in the garden.  The Korean golfers wear them all the time here in B.C.  I was  advised they are available at most sports stores in the golf or cycling departments, otherwise on line.  

so important to stay safe out there in the summer months.  It only takes a few minutes before going out.  Keep hydrated as well - so important.
i plan to enjoy summer this year, as the last two I was a couch potatoe

jlo (Joan)
Aries
542 Posts
Being from England I am already naturally pasty white 😆 and I have a lot of moles so I have always been fairly sun-shy. You will never find me sunbathing! I tend to stick to the shady side of the street if I can and when I know I am going to be out in the sun I use sunscreen; I know I should probably use it more than I do but I am terrible at remembering unless it is a particularly sunny day. I am not a "summer" type person so I tend to dress in the same way as other seasons - jeans, tshirts etc so I am often pretty covered and if it is really hot I stay indoors with the air conditioning! I have some sun hats if I am going to be out and about, just even how much they help keep you cooler is worth wearing them and always sunglasses to protect the eyes. 
Now I am under chemo and know that it can make my skin more sensitive, I will be more cautious  to stay out of the direct sun when I can and will use more sunscreen on any exposed skin.
We are anticipating a hotter summer here in BC this year (like the previous summers weren't hot!) so I will definitely make efforts to stay sun safe!
KathyM
6 Posts
How timely. I'm a member of this community because of a breast cancer diagnosis a year and a half ago. Had a clear mammogram since, so I was just beginning to relax and get on with living. Then a few weeks ago had a skin biopsy which turned out to be melanoma. &*(*^&%*.   I have been pretty careful about sun safety for many years now - at least 15spf on my face every day; 30spf and a hat if I'm spending time outside. However I grew up not really knowing about sunscreen, and l've always loved being outside. Still do. With current knowledge about how bad it is to have fair skin and have had several blistering sunburns as a kid, I figured I'd get skin cancer at some point, but somehow didn't think it would be melanoma. I'm afraid I'll be not just extra careful but paranoid about the sun from now on. My melanoma is on my face and is not tiny so I'm looking at probable plastic surgery. Boo.  Will probably try to find some lightweight shirts that are spf rated. I've never been one to wear shorts or skirts so long pants are my normal. Does anyone know if jeans are very good at blocking UV rays?  Be careful everyone and cover up your kids!
Kathy
Elizabeth06
357 Posts
I was diagnosed with melanoma when I was 30 years old and had three children under six.  I was beside myself with worry.  I was very lucky, they excised it and then I had a second surgery to provide clearer margins.  I visited the doctor regularly and any new or changing mole was removed.  I used to joke that I would be whittled away to nothing by the time I retired.
i started using sunscreen regularly and limiting my time in direct sunlight.
at 55 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and while undergoing treatment for that, developed other skin cancers, always easily treatable, but bringing into focus how important vigilance is.  I see a dermatologist regularly, have facial moisturizers with sunscreen in them, that I apply every single day, no matter the weather.i sit in the shade when outdoors, where a hat when out for a walk.
i am a red head, of Irish decent, and acknowledge I am more susceptible because of my heritage and my current cancer treatments.  So, while I love being outdoors I try and respect the sun and myself and take the steps necessary to protect my skin.
LPPK
1411 Posts
For most of my life I have been worried about getting  skin cancer, my mother died from melanoma when I was 7 years old.  So it really wasn't a shock when I was diagnosed with melanoma 9 years ago.   I now have sun protection clothing to wear whenever I am outside, which is most of the time from April through November on our farm.  I have found many companies that sell UPF 50+ clothing.
 
Coolibar       https://www.coolibar.com/
Columbia    https://www.columbiasportswear.ca/en/technology-omnishade/
Golf Town    https://www.golftown.com/en-CA/search?q=UPF+clothing&lang=en_CA
Dicks Sporting Good    https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/products/sun-protective-clothing.jsp
Tilley      https://www.tilley.com/us_en/women/clothing/upf-clothing.html  I am never outside without my Tilley hat. 

The article  How to choose Sun Protection (UPF) Clothing  explains about UPF is and the ratings of clothing.    The article mentions "UPF-rating clothing alone will not fully cover you. Total UV protection requires a multifaceted approach:
  • Wear UV-protective clothing.
  • Liberally apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating to all exposed areas of skin.
  • Wear sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV-ray protection.
  • Seek shade whenever possible.
  • Monitor—and limit—the amount of time you expose yourself to UV radiation, especially during peak daylight hours—roughly from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Remember that filtered sun can still damage your skin, so protect yourself on cloudy days, too.

Wearing UV-protective clothing and these other precautions give you a lot of tools to keep your skin healthier. Be smart about the sun and it will be easier to soak up the fun when you’re outdoors."

Has anyone found other locations that sell sun protection clothing?

Kims1961
2094 Posts
Great topic since we are finally seeing SUN!!☀

I'm from the generation where we lathered on baby oil and baked in the sun.  I remember they even sold reflective "sheets" that you could lay on to try and speed up the tan - then there is the entire tanning bed issue!😔

I have been fortunate to not have skin that burns easily but that also caused me to not use sunscreen when i should have.  Now I find the medications have caused me to be more sun sensitive, so i have a full variety of sunscreens and clothing that i wear.  I also find the heat seems to bother me more, so am trying harder to stay out of the direct sunlight.  That being said - I love to swim - so i've tried a UV swimshirt to swim in.

Thank you LPPK‍ for your links - i'm going to check them out!

Kim
Brighty
7042 Posts
Like Aries‍  I'm ghostly white and burn to a crisp within 10 minutes  of being out in the sun.     I usually  drown myself in sun screen  before going out every  morning.   I usually  stick to the shade and avoid the sun too if possible.    I also prefer  to stay in an air conditioned place in the heat.    It's important  for all of us to to also use sunscreen during the day in the winter time.   A regular face cream that has SPF in it  is good.   
Skin cancer? Yet another thing for me to worry about.😕 My father was born white but died dark brown. He spent every possible moment sunbathing. More of an addiction then a hobby. At 82[?] he was told he had skin cancer on I believe it was his leg. He had so many other things going wrong at the time, the cancer diagnosis barely raised an eyebrow. I on the other hand am fair skinned with blue eyes. All my life people have told me to stay out of the sun. People with blue eyes are supposedly more apt to burn. Back in the 60's it was common to spend the whole day at the beach with no protection. I remember getting sunburns every summer. A few really painful ones.Because of that I feel if it's going to happen, well the damage has already been done. Like I read in another post, I avoid the sun and walk on the shady side of the street. I now wear sunglasses and mostly keep myself covered. I'm inside most of the day but I've heard that even reflected light can be harmful. Hmmmm.......Sunscreen, I demand it for my grandchildren but never bother for myself. Isn't that usually the way. 🙏Peace.  

Perhaps it's time I gave it a second thought.  
Dave73
156 Posts
I was chatting with my wife about this topic, and understand  that as a newbie here I no that im pretty naïve to this topic. i ll try to keep up with others here, on what they use and don't use. I have a few question myself if some don't mind answering. first as a cancer patient in therapy (immunotherapy) am I more prone to burns, I always use anyway usually 30 and up. I use a hat unless swimming, im pretty good at keeping hydrated. I fee like im missing something if I am please let me no
your friend
David
LPPK
1411 Posts
I use SPF60 sunscreen because my fair, red-headed skin burns quickly. I have been doing some research on sunscreens and here are some interesting articles.

Summer Skin Care  " Sunscreens work in different ways. Chemical sunscreen absorbs ultraviolet light before it can harm the skin. Chemical sunscreen acts as a filter and does allow some radiation to get through, which is why tanning is still possible. Physical sunscreen — sometimes called sunblock — reflects ultraviolet light so that it can't penetrate the skin, creating a barrier between sun and skin. Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are examples of physical sunscreen ingredients."

Sunscreen 101 – quick tips on using sunscreen products  Since I work outside on the farm I found this tip to be most helpful.  "Put sunscreen on first, before any makeup or insect repellent. Sunscreen should always be your first layer of protection."

Can the chemicals in sunscreen cause cancer?    " A few studies have suggested that parabens act like estrogen in the body, which can speed up the growth of breast cancer tumours."  (Oh no!  my sunscreen is not paraben free, guess I'll be out buying new sunscreen tomorrow). 
Can anyone suggest a paraben free  sunscreen that has a high SPF factor.?


 How Cancer Patients can Beat the Heat  "If you are being treated for cancer, you are more vulnerable to heat-related problems than you were before treatment. Make every effort to stay cool, and understand that the combination of sunlight, heat, and medications may cause photosensitivity reactions to occur quickly, possibly more quickly than you expect. Being aware of your medications and having a plan in place in case of emergency, whether you are at home or are traveling, can make the warm weather most enjoyable.
Planning ahead can make your time outdoors safer and more enjoyable:
  • Try to limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, which is when the sun's rays are strongest.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply it often, especially after sweating or swimming. It is also a good idea to ask a doctor to recommend a sunscreen for sensitive skin if your skin is irritated anywhere from radiation therapy.
  • Dress for sun protection, and bring portable shade such as an umbrella if possible.
  • Protect your head. If you've lost your hair due to chemo, wear a hat.
  • If you have undergone radiation, know the boundaries of where you were exposed. This area will be the most sensitive to sunburn, especially during the first year after treatment.
  • Keep any surgical scars covered from the sun. "Surgical scars may be especially sensitive to sun damage," says Dr. Naughton. If you can't keep them covered by clothes (or a hat), apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, generously and frequently."


  

 
Elsie13
1535 Posts
I'd like to start of with this: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/health-canada-goop-natural-health-products-1.5167702?fbclid=IwAR0xARbo7fnewgz6035qBxUz_bxOlyRZza2nGC42iclTrvkoFmgpSYqIqyQ 
Canada's health inspectors got in there right away, and two Goop  'sunblock' products have been pulled from the shelves. It's kind of uplifted my faith in government organizations, just a little!
LPPK‍ , I don't buy SPF clothing. I  like to buy things that are on sale. Also, I should be wearing compression socks + capri leggings, or compression stockings + bike shorts, or one stocking with bandages on the other leg. So this morning was a gym morning, so the socks, the capri leggings and a skirt just below the knee, and a round neck t-shirt and a big sun hat and also sunglasses. Usually, I'm a bit behind schedule, so I put the sunscreen on as I walk to the gym. 
 (I know, I know, it's best to put it on 30 minutes before you go out!)  
My background is Scottish and Irish. 
Elsie13
1535 Posts
KathyM‍    "The tighter the knit or weave, the smaller the holes and the less UV can get through. Twill, used to make tweeds or denim, is an example of a tightly woven fabric. Open weave fabrics provide much less protection. "  However, clothing of any sort is always better that no clothing!   https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/clothing/protection.   (I'm not sure if that link was already posted in this thread.) 
Essjay
1536 Posts
As a child and teen growing up in UK I used to burn every summer (it doesn’t rain there all year round, despite what people tell you) - my parents didn’t know our fair skin needed to be protected. My father has had skin cancer...

since my early 20’s I have used sunscreen religiously, although I know I’ve burned by accident a few times, usually because I have been too absorbed in my activity to reapply. With blue eyes, I wear sunglasses to protect my eyes and a hat or cap. When out canoeing or hiking or in the garden tending our veg patch, I usually wear a shirt. I’m not one for sunbathing - never have the time. I don’t like the heat or humidity either.

im conscious my radiated chest is going to be sensitive - I have sunblock for the bits of me that aren’t covered by my clothes. Green Beaver, Badger, and Sun Bum do some great organic sunblock that goes on well (paraben free).

I have a lot of moles and I’ve had some removed after they changed (thankfully benign), and I’ve developed 100+ new ones since chemo, so I’m planning to ask my family doc for a referral to a dermatologist - I want to know which moles I should be watching.
Charles
99 Posts
I got a small skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, not melanoma) on my nose.  IMHO, it was badly handled by my GP and dermatologist -- 2 years between "Just watch it", and a biopsy that showed the cancer.  I had it removed in the US using Moh's surgery -- the Canadian wait would have been a year.  IMHO, $2,000 well spent.

Since then, my new dermatologist recommended Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer sunblock, with the highest available SPF (60, I think).  I put that on my nose and face, and exposed skin, and wear a wide-brimmed hat, when I'm out in the sun.  I also take Vitamin D tablets (400 IU, I think -- not a megadose).

I've had no recurrence yet, and don't expect one, and don't expect any new UV-related skin cancer.  If I understand right, melanoma _isn't_ usually caused by sun exposure -- it's the relatively easy-to-cure skin cancers that are.

.     Charles
 

128c95d1b402de3ce53e865a3e9495e8-huge-su


 
I hope you find the below tips helpful! Are there any new tips below that you plan on trying this summer?

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Read more: http://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/make-healthy-choices/be-sun-safe/sunscreen-101-quick-tips-on-using-sunscreen-products/?region=on
Hadrian
4 Posts
Hello everybody,

I don't have skin cancer and my oncologist told me there is empiric evidence that vitamin C (which is not really a vitamin but a hormone) would be beneficial for some types of cancers including mine. One natural way to acquire that is via exposure to Sun. Not sudden and not excessive.
As far as I know the European Union banned an ingredient found in off the shelf sun screen in here because it's absorbed by the skin and could lead to potential major problems. I wish that would have been banned in here too and I don't feel very comfortable using it.
I apply occasionally sun screen only in exposed sections when I know the exposure will be intense and prolong. The chance of getting 2 unrelated Cancers is probably astronomically low so I don't worry about that more than I worry about gamma rays when I fly.

That aside, I would advice everybody to apply safe sun screen in moderation, especially if you have skin damage. UV rays cause double stranded breaks in exposed cells (DNA). The aforementioned hormone adds protection AFAIK. There are several things that cause DSB and the Sun seems to be the only talked about while the others are unfortunately virtually ignored. Probably because somebody would loose money or nobody figured out how to make money out of that.

I prefer a light straw hat.

All the best.
Adrian
Hadrian
4 Posts

That's a great post. Oe thing I want to add... " People with blue eyes are supposedly more apt to burn". I think that is a correlation with no casuality because usually blue eyes are more common in areas with low sun light but it's the skin shade that counts. Yes the 70's were get as much sun as you can get. Moderation is the key INMO.

ZeroGravity60:
Skin cancer? Yet another thing for me to worry about.😕 My father was born white but died dark brown. He spent every possible moment sunbathing. More of an addiction then a hobby. At 82[?] he was told he had skin cancer on I believe it was his leg. He had so many other things going wrong at the time, the cancer diagnosis barely raised an eyebrow. I on the other hand am fair skinned with blue eyes. All my life people have told me to stay out of the sun. People with blue eyes are supposedly more apt to burn. Back in the 60's it was common to spend the whole day at the beach with no protection. I remember getting sunburns every summer. A few really painful ones.Because of that I feel if it's going to happen, well the damage has already been done. Like I read in another post, I avoid the sun and walk on the shady side of the street. I now wear sunglasses and mostly keep myself covered. I'm inside most of the day but I've heard that even reflected light can be harmful. Hmmmm.......Sunscreen, I demand it for my grandchildren but never bother for myself. Isn't that usually the way. 🙏Peace.  

Perhaps it's time I gave it a second thought.  

 
Runner Girl
1850 Posts
I will freely admit that I never wear sunscreen, I have never had a sunburn, historically my skin tans nicely and by end of summer gets quite dark, despite the fact that I have blue eyes.

I suppose now I should probably use a suncreen, but am searching for one that is chemical free.  Those that come with Parabens are completely off my radar as I have estrogen positive breast cancer.

Fortunately we've not had alot of sunny days and hot temperatures here in Calgary yet this year.

 
Hadrian‍ 

I just wanted to clarify something in your post that was perhaps just a typo but for anyone following this discussion, this is directly from our Cancer Information Service:

"....no where can I find information that claims that Vitamin C is a hormone, Vitamin C is also known as Ascorbic Acid and it is a Vitamin found in food, it is not a hormone. I have also found no information to suggest that you can get Vitamin C from exposure to the sun.
However, Vitamin D is considered a hormone and you can get Vitamin D from sun exposure. "


I am also including this information from cancer.ca regarding sunscreen


https://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/make-healthy-choices/be-sun-safe/can-the-chemicals-in-sunscreen-cause-cancer/?region=on

It is great to get people talking about sun safety. Of course everyone will do what they feel is best for them as far as sun safety goes.

Lianne
Aries
542 Posts
I already posted my personal sun protection strategy (mostly stay out of it!) but I wanted to mention that I recently read that the FDA has a deadline of November 2019 to do a full review of all sunscreens to ensure they are still safe etc and to make accountable the manufacturers on the ingredients used.
Ultimately a Broad Spectrum of at east 15 SPF, preferably 30 SPF for hot days should be used; ingredients to avoid are oxybenzone (one of the worst chemical filters), avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide which is preferable although I think I read that they are not always as effective.

Here are a couple of articles relating to this:
https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-voices-perspectives-fda-experts/shedding-new-light-sunscreen-absorption 

I don't know how or when this will effect the market place in Canada but just things to be aware of.

Also, I believe you only need approximately 10 minutes of sun exposure to get a daily dose of vitamin D. Or you could try taking a vitamin d oil instead as supposedly most of us are vitamin d deficient. I currently take 5000IU a day but that's for cancer fighting as much as anything.

Stay Sun Safe!
SpeedyStill
570 Posts
Discussion and opinions are great that is essential in an open forum like this however I like what my wife said to me about my cancer "Don't compare yourself with anyone else". Why because we are all different and we all respond differently. This is true with sun exposure. Safety includes doing the things that work for us. I am fair skinned and have blue eyes and I burn easily if I am not careful with the time I spend in the sun, the clothing I wear and the sun screen I use. Sun screen is one item that I do not go cheap on, I read the label and look for some indication that it is approved by Dermatologists.
I grew up in the 50's and 60's and can't remember putting on sunscreen. As kids we used to play and have fun all day long sun, rain it didn't matter. However over the years climate and the earth's natural protection has changed.  I don't think we should stop having fun however we have to be smarter about how we do it.
I was very lucky or very careful but I avoided any major problems with skin cancer although I did have one issue.
I had Basel cell carcinoma on my nose removed by Mohs Surgery. He had to take cartilage from my ear to graft onto my nose.
So take care read information from reputable sources and do what's necessary for you to live a happy any fun life in a world of continuous change.
SpeedyStill  (Gerry )
If I could just add a little humor.🤣
They say all humor has some truth. 

Come in. Sit down.
Sunscreen, no sunscreen
Let me read your cards.☪

You as a human are made of energy. At your core you are not blood and guts flesh and bone, but you're raw energy. Because of this, life force energy flows through your core. The more inner connected you are to your true self, the more you live your truth, the more energy you produce and energy dense your aura becomes. The greater the density of core energy in your aura the greater the natural protection you'll receive from all potential harm. The cards tell me this sunscreen medicine you talk about is indeed necessary, but for all the wrong reasons.

Alien Bob 👽
 
princessmaura
308 Posts
I never wear sunscreen but I wear long sleeved tops and pants, and a big sun hat...
law1
512 Posts
Hello Connection Family,
I try to remember to wear a hat with a wide brim and apply 50+ sun block before going outside...rain or shine.
I remember to apply the sun block also to my ears,face, back of the legs and neck, and ankles.....  all skin exposed to the sun.
I used to love laying out and getting tan...but with the ozone hole expanding, the sun rays are really much more damaging to us now. 🤥
Stay healthy!
law
LPPK
1411 Posts
In the article  Can the chemicals in sunscreen cause cancer?  the following sentences caught my attention... " A few studies have suggested that parabens act like estrogen in the body, which can speed up the growth of breast cancer tumours. We need more research to understand this association better.:"   Since  I don't want my sunscreen to counteract the effects of my Tamoxifen I checked the Tamoxifen Information sheet given to me by my medical oncologist.  "Use sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and a SPF of at least 30"  No mention of problem ingredients. So should I be concerned?  

I've checked into Parabens and found they come with many names; methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, heptylparaben, ispropylparaben, plus others that don't include the name paraben; 4hyroxybenzoic acid, para-hdroxbenzoic acid, alkyl parahydroxy benzoates. 

The  sunscreen I use does not have parabens.  I will continue to check out ingedient lists of sunscreens as I am out shopping.  

I am wondering what sunscreen others on Tamoxifen are using.   Are you concerned your sunscreen might counteract your Tamoxifen? 
Minus2
910 Posts
I am concerned about anything that may reduce or counteract the affect of the Tamoxifen LPPK‍  so this morning when I read your post, I checked my sunscreen.  Sure enough, 2 parabens in it.  Sigh.  So now I am on the hunt.  Thank you so much for the informative post.  Would you PM me with the name of the sunscreen you use?
LPPK
1411 Posts
According to the Canadian Dermatology Association...
Many people aged 60 or older face a high risk for developing skin cancer. If you are in this age group, you grew up in a time when little was known about how too much sun could cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. The truth is that it is never too late for sun protection. By protecting your skin from too much sun you can help prevent the onset of skin cancer and more sun damage to the skin. Keeping your skin healthy can help you enjoy your senior years to the fullest!

I find it helpful to know the UV index each day since I work outside most days.  
Low – UV Index 1-2
Minimal sun protection required for normal activity. Wear sunglasses on bright days and cover up and use sunscreen if outside for more than one hour.
Moderate – UV Index 3-5
Take precautions. If outside for 30 minutes or more, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen and look for shade near midday when the sun is strongest.
High – UV Index 6-7
Protection required. Reduce sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Take full precautions by covering up, wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Very High – UV Index 8-10
Extra precautions required. Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Take full precautions by covering up, wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn quickly.
Extreme – UV Index 11+
Take full precautions. Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn in minutes.

 
LPPK
1411 Posts
c8ddbda09535c52e7471158b587ad9c8-huge-su
 
Kims1961
2094 Posts
LPPK‍    Ha ha!  When a picture says a thousand words...  thank you

be76617c3ba2e54eea9e4325ea6b05fa.jpg (227Ã222)
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