Are you addicted to…Light?
Last year an Addiction Biology study looked at addiction and indoor UV tanning. With the cold, dark days of winter upon us, and many people taking up tanning to keep a “healthy glow”, we thought taking a look at this study might shed some light on the subject. The study found that people were able to tell if they received true UV light during their session or if it was false light. If it was false, they exhibited the same desire to tan after their session as they did before they went under the light. Furthermore the parts of the brain linked to addition lit up more when the tanners were exposed to the true UV lights. The study was a pilot study, but it’s findings are nonetheless intriguing.
So if you’re thinking about tanning at a salon, please think twice and use caution–it seems that it can create a true “UV addiction.” This, paired with UV radiation’s propensity to damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer, can be a dangerous combination. If you find yourself craving some light during the winter months, take the opportunity to engage in fall/winter activities like walking in the park, skating, football, etc.
More details can be found in the Abstract.
How Good is Your Sunscreen?
Dear 16-year-old Me
Who said Sunscreen doesn’t reduce Melanoma?
Did you know that there has been some controversy about whether or not sunscreen reduces all types of skin cancer? Melanoma prevention specifically was the subject of debate. Australian researchers recently reported findings that will make it harder for naysayers to continue arguing though. These researchers found that 10 years after a group of Australian adults were asked to use sunscreen daily, the incidence of invasive melanoma was decreased by 73%! The sunscreen used by the study group was SPF-16.
Happy Skin Cancer Awareness month!
The sunny days of summer will be here soon so somebody was thinking when they designated May to be Skin Cancer Awareness month. To help “celebrate” and do our part in raising awareness about the most common kind of cancer that affects humans, we’ll be featuring information about skin cancer in our blog entries, tweets and Facebook posts this month.
To start we thought we’d let you know about the new sunscreen recommendation labels that the Skin Cancer Foundation released this year. They’ve made 2 important changes. First they now require that sunscreens provide scientific proof of both UVA and UVB protection. Second there are now 2 different Seals: “Daily Use” for everyday incidental exposure, such as walking from your car to work, and “Active” for more extended outdoor exposure such as during sports, at picnics, etc. This image shows the new labels, and you can find more information about products that have already been approved and received one of the Seals here.
Skin Cancer Incidence Continues to Rise
Skin cancer is more than 15x more common than the next most common types of cancer, and the incidence is rising. According to numbers presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, there were about 3.7 million skin cancers in 2009. Unfortunately these numbers have been increasing each year. Find out more here. The incidence of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, appears to be underestimated based on a recent study: melanoma study.
At Cornerstone we believe skin cancer screening is very important. We are the only primary care practice in Hampton Roads that offers digital mole mapping technology. Want to learn more? Contact us–we’d be happy to talk with you!
Melanoma May Be More Common Than Realized
This report caught my attention. Skin cancer is by far the most common kind of cancer, but the most dangerous kind, melanoma, is the least common of the 3 main skin cancers. However, melanoma wasn’t rare; it was already number 6 on list of most common cancers for both men and women in the U.S. This study suggests that the number of melanomas in the U.S. has been under-reported, possibly by a lot.
What does this mean for those of us who spend time in the sun or perhaps had a sunburn or two in their lives? In addition to wearing sun protection, it means skin cancer screening is something that should be a part of your regular medical care. At Cornerstone we take that job seriously and offer digital mole mapping to all of our patients. Interested? We’d love to tell you more about it.
NEW ORLEANS- National estimates of the incidence of malignant melanoma may be substantially off-base due to widespread underreporting of new cases to state cancer registries by dermatologists, results of a small survey suggest.
A survey of U.S. dermatologists indicates half are unaware of their legal obligation to report new cases of malignant melanoma to the cancer registries operative in all 50 states, Dr. Seema P. Kini reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Leaving aside the issue of familiarity with the legal reporting requirement, the survey also showed that 58% of responding dermatologists don’t report new cases of malignant melanoma to their state cancer registry and don’t know of anyone else in their practice doing so, added Dr. Kini of Emory University in Atlanta.
She and her coinvestigators conducted the survey at the cutaneous oncology symposium held during last year’s annual meeting of the AAD. Among the 424 dermatologists in attendance, 104 practicing in 30 states completed the survey.
Dermatologists in practice for less than 10 years were 3.3-fold more likely to be unaware of the existence of the legal mandate and the established reporting procedures in place in all 50 states than were more experienced practitioners.
Fifty-four percent of dermatologists indicated they had diagnosed nine or fewer new cases of melanoma during the previous year. They were 2.9-fold less likely to report new cases of melanoma to their state cancer registry and to be unaware of anybody in their practice who did so than were dermatologists who reported finding 10 or more melanomas in the prior year.
While conceding that the survey sample size is a limitation and a larger study investigating American dermatologists’ melanoma reporting practices is in order, this initial survey clearly suggests the existence of a problem, and that educational efforts aimed at improving melanoma reporting practices might well target younger physicians who diagnose fewer than 10 new melanomas annually, Dr. Kini concluded.
Dr. Kini declared having no relevant financial disclosures.