As my friend said to me “pain is only temporary, but chicks dig scars”
I hope that is the case, as a friend said to me jokingly “chicks dig scars” ’cause I have me a shiny new one on my chest. Had an inflamed red patch on my chest, which on biopsy, was basal cell carcinoma; e.g., skin cancer.
Yes, had been meaning to get it looked at, but it looked like classic actinic keratosis (a type of skin damage due to radiation/sun exposure) which can over time, convert to cancer, but recently started looking more inflamed… Usually converts to a more malignant type then your basic basal cell, which is especially non malignant.
As scary as the C word is, shouldn’t be much drama, and I had it removed under just a local at doctors office (my friend the plastic surgeon) and get looked over once a year by a Derm. It is a good sized scar however as it was a pretty big patch.
I do have a few other spots of actinic keratosis, which will get taken care of with Imiquimod (Aldara) cream.
I spent a lot of time on boats, the ocean, working out doors, etc as a kid, sans any sun screen (hey, it was the 70s and 80s, we didn’t know any better…) and experience with medical related radiation, but I have avoided lying in the sun and always use sun screen.
Interesting to note, there is a big debate currently on the causes of skin cancers, and some very mainstream scientists simply not agreeing with the simple sunlight exposure = skin cancer. Writing in The Army Times:
“This is the same sun-phobic message we’ve been getting from dermatologists for more than 40 years,” said Michael Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine.
Holick, who’s written several books and conducted hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on sun exposure and vitamin D, is at the forefront of a growing number of health and medical professionals who are questioning conventional wisdom when it comes to the dark side of the sun.
Holick argues that what others call “damage” to skin from light tanning is more like sore muscles after a good workout.
“Mother Nature designed us for sun exposure,” Holick said. “You shouldn’t go out and bake, by any means, but you can get a mild tan without significantly increasing your chances of getting cancer.”
Holick notes that studies suggest those who work indoors have higher rates of skin cancer than those who work outside in the sun all day. Meanwhile, skin cancer rates are climbing faster than a Fourth of July thermometer, even as more Americans are slathering on more and more sunscreen.
All this, however, comes as levels of vitamin D have been plummeting.
‘D’ for deficient
A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that more than three in four Americans are in short supply of vitamin D.
“We found a marked increase in vitamin D deficiency over the past two decades,” said lead researcher Adit Ginde, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.
Low levels of vitamin D can lead to weak bones, heart disease, diabetes, infections, and a variety of cancers and other ugly stuff. In short: The body needs it. And where do you get it? A few foods and supplements are a good start, but it’s the sun that really cranks it out.
“Since sunlight is the body’s major source of vitamin D, increases in sunscreen, sun avoidance and overall decreased outdoor activity, while successful in reducing skin cancers, has probably reduced vitamin D levels in the population,” Ginde said.
“This is a real controversy right now,” said Michael Murphy, a former Army dermatologist who now runs his own skin cancer clinic in the Indianapolis area.
Funny, I had just started doing some research on this topic, and had no idea how personal that research would be…There’s a simple blood test to see if one had enough active vitamin D in their system, which I will request next time I for blood work me thinks….
So, lesson here is, if you have any red spots, etc you are not sure what it is (acne, etc) get it checked out. There are many things that are not cancer (e.g., various keratosis, moles, etc), that left there long enough, can become malignant, so it’s worth getting them removed before they can convert. I, being busy, etc, etc, let it sit there too long…
For those interested to find out what their vitamin D status is, request a blood test for 25-hydroxyvitamin D, with vitamin D proponents as a major disease fighter recommending at least 50 ng/ml
Merry X Mass and all that…
Will Brink is the owner of the Brinkzone Blog. Will has over 30 years experience as a respected author, columnist and consultant, to the supplement, fitness, bodybuilding, and weight loss industry and has been extensively published. Will graduated from Harvard University with a concentration in the natural sciences, and is a consultant to major supplement, dairy, and pharmaceutical companies.
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