Do You Think Indoor Tanning is Safe?

Monday, May 5, 2008

The first Monday in May is designated as Melanoma Monday, a day dedicated to advocating for melanoma awareness, prevention and early detection. It is also a time to support those struggling with the disease and to remember those who have succumbed to it.

A few melanoma facts:

Last month a prominent musician was lost. On April 17, 2008, Danny Federici became a statistic - another victim of malignant melanoma. Danny Federici was one of the founding members of Bruce Springsteen’s famed E Street Band. Springsteen described Federici as “one of the pillars of our sound.” Federici shared his brand of keyboards with Bruce Springsteen, The E Street Band, and the world since the late 1960’s.

Never heard of Danny Federici? How about John McCain? Yes, that John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2008 United States Presidential election. Did you know that Sen. McCain has had five primary melanoma lesions diagnosed and removed between 1993 an 2002? The most serious of these was a stage 2A melanoma on the left temple in 2000, which required that lymph nodes be removed and checked for the spread of melanoma. The lymph nodes tested negative.

Last but not least, everyone's favorite Rastafarian, Bob Marley, died of melanoma in 1981 at the young age of 36.

That concludes our melanoma trivia for today. Have a happy Melanoma Monday, and wear your sunscreen!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Go Ahead... Have Some More Chocolate!

You know and I know that everyone loves chocolate. Go ahead and indulge - it might just do you some good!

Did you know that chocolate contains a natural compound that can be preventative against cancer? This compound, called epicatechin, is a flavinoid that acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants slow down harmful oxidation in the body by mopping up oxygen-containing free radicals formed as a by-product of normal metabolism.

Antioxidants have long been identified as having benefits that include protection against cancer, strengthening the immune system, and possibly improving cardiovascular health. Here are a few hints:

  • The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants it contains.

  • Milk chocolate isn't included here, as milk binds to antioxidants, limiting their absorption.

  • Read the labels to make sure your chocolate contains real cocoa butter and not coconut or palm oils, which are high in saturated fats.

  • Those with nut allergies beware -- many chocolates are processed in plants that also process nuts. Again, read the label to be sure.

Enjoy all the chocolate treats that you want. Turns out they are actually good for you!

Resolutions, Anyone?!

Happy New Year!

January 1st usually means promising yourself that you will attain at least one previously unattainable goal, and it's most often something that requires some measure of work on your part.

Here's one great resolution idea that only takes a few minutes a day -- Take better care of your skin!

The winter months can be particularly tough on your skin. Colder temperatues and dry indoor heat can make your skin more fragile. Using a good winter moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 will protect against those pesky UV rays, too. Don't forget -- even in colder climates, your face and hands are exposed nearly all the time!

My favorite winter moisturizer is Lubriderm Daily Moisture with SPF 15. That's the one with the purple pump. It's relatively inexpensive at $8.95 for the 16oz. bottle. It doesn't smell all "coconutty" like some sunscreens, and it's actually a great skin moisturizer, too.

No matter which brand you choose, it does you no good if it's still in the bottle. Use your sunscreen every day!