Friday, November 23, 2007
Photo Hunt: Hot
The photohunt theme today is hot. I celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday with a good hot meal for dinner, with Bill who cooked a wonderful feast. I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday had a happy one. For that matter I hope everyone had a happy Thursday whether or not Thanksgiving is a holiday where they are from. I am featuring the hot sun at the beach for my post. The photograph below was taken during the summer at a North Carolina beach on a hot day. If you look on the right hand side of the picture, you will note someone walking in the ocean to cool off their feet after walking on the hot sand. On the left hand side of the picture you will note a sensible bunch under an umbrella to protect their skin from the hot sun.The picture above was taken in Key West, FL. One of the beautiful times to be outside in Key West is when you can watch the hot sun fall into the ocean. I love the ocean at the beach as well as the sand beneath my toes. I don't hide from the sun but I also think there are sensible precautions which can be taken when I am out in the hot sun. I am going to put the links to other photohunters here: - PhotoHunt is the home of the hunt, and you can also find other participants on Technorati - photohunt
Please feel free to skip the rest of this post if you so desire. I totally understand and that's why I put the photohunt links above as well as at the bottom of this post. I get pretty serious for the remainder of this hot post and discuss a serious cancer, melanoma, which has links to the hot sun in some cases. I debated about including the rest of this post but since I am including information about sensible precautions people can take when enjoying the hot sun, I thought some of the photohunters might be interested. Excessive exposure to the hot sun is a contributory factor, in some cases, to people getting melanoma. You can click on the underlined part of the text to go to my source, if you want additional information.
Melanoma occurs when something goes awry in the melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) that give color to your skin. Just what damages DNA in skin cells and how this leads to melanoma is a matter of intense study. Cancer is a complex disease that often results from a combination of factors, including environmental and genetic factors, rather than from a single cause. Still, excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a leading factor in the development of melanoma, whether the radiation is from the sun or from tanning lamps and beds.
Some people get melanoma from other causes besides the hot sun. UV light doesn't cause all melanomas, especially those that occur in places on your body that don't receive exposure to sunlight. This indicates that other factors may contribute to your risk of melanoma.
Some other factors which may contribute to melanoma include: atypical mole syndrome, family history of melanoma, weakened immune system, rare genetic disorder.
Some basic precautions you can take in the hot sun include protective clothing, sunscreen, going inside during the hottest time of the day. To find out about some steps you can take to lower your risk of getting melanoma go here. Also, be sure to report any changes in cutaneous and subcutaneous lesions (moles, bumps, lumps, etc.), or new ones, to your doctor. I have stage III melanoma which means that my melanoma spread to a regional site. In my case I had a cutaneous primary which spread to a node in the closest major draining lymph node basin. I have been NED (no evidence of disease) since my groin lymph node dissection. I don't know if the hot sun was a factor in my getting melanoma. I have never been to a tanning salon and my primary melanoma was on a part of my body which was rarely exposed to the sun. However, I have gotten to know a lot of people with melanoma who spent time in tanning salons and got many sun burns. They are typical of the type of history which would lead you to think the UV rays were a leading factor in their melanoma.The good news is that if melanoma is caught early, most people have an excellent prognosis. It is still necessary to have regular follow-up but the sooner a melanoma is caught the better the chances that the person will not have a recurrence. The bad news is that when it is not caught early, the chances of it spreading are higher. Once melanoma start spreading, it can go pretty much anywhere and in some cases cause death. I had a deep melanoma primary and, as I said, it had spread to a node. The good news with me is the longer I go without a recurrence, the better my prognosis becomes. In March of 2008, I will have been NED for 3 years. I look forward to celebrating 3 years without a recurrence, in less than four months. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that it has been that long because I've had some scares, funky scans, funky blood work, and lingering side effects. However, I am enormously thankful that it is beginning to look much better for me in terms of the chances that I'm done with active cancer.