What you can do to prevent skin cancer?

Senior woman watering lawn with a hose.

Being exposed to the sun’s harmful rays is a major cause of skin cancer. People of all ages and backgrounds are at risk. But in most cases, skin cancer can be prevented:

  • Start by avoiding the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays.
  • And don’t use tanning beds, which are no safer than the sun.

When you are outdoors, it’s best to follow all these steps:

  • Wear tightly woven clothing that covers your skin. Put on a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, ears, and scalp.
  • Watch the clock. Try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when it is strongest.
  • Head for the shade or create your own. Use an umbrella when sitting or strolling.
  • Know that the sun’s rays can reflect off sand, water, and snow. This can harm your skin. Take extra care when you are near reflective surfaces.
  • Keep in mind that even when the weather is hazy or cloudy, your skin can be exposed to strong UV rays.
  • Shield your skin with sunscreen. Also, apply sunscreen to your children’s skin.

Click here to read more tips for using sunscreen.

Related posts: Prevent and Detect MelanomaWays to Prevent a Sunburn

Ways to Prevent a Sunburn

Woman putting sunscreen on nose. Apply plenty of sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Reapply it often.

If you have been sunburned, like most people, you know what it is — red, hot, painful skin.

You are more likely to burn in the sun if you:

  • Have very fair skin.
  • Are exposed to sunlight reflected from snow or water.
  • Live near the equator or at high altitudes.
  • Are taking certain antibiotics, birth control pills, accutane (a medicine for acne), or some herbs such as St. John’s wort.

Long-term sun exposure may lead to wrinkling and skin cancer. To protect your skin:

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when rays are strongest.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves in the sun.
  • Use sunscreen of at least SPF 15, even on cloudy days.

Most sunburns are minor and go away in a few days. However, sunburns can be serious sometimes, so it’s important to know when to get medical care. Click here to read more.

Heat-Related Illness in Children

Boy drinking water from bottle sitting on grass outdoors.

Heat-related illness occurs when the body’s temperature gets too high. Body temperature can be affected by the temperature of the air and by level of physical activity (exercise).

Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In the summer, the risk of getting heat-related illnesses are higher.

You can do the following to prevent your child from getting heat-related illness:

  • Keep your child indoors or in shaded or cool areas.
  • Give your child more fluids than normal.
  • Spray cool water on your child to keep him or her cool.
  • Dress your child in fewer layers.
  • Have your child wear a hat or a visor.
  • Have your child rest and take breaks during exercise or physical activity.

Click here to read more.

Exercise to Manage Your Blood Sugar

Being physically active every day can help you manage your blood sugar. A recent study by Dr. Gillian Booth from St. Michael’s Hospital showed that more walkable neighborhoods can decrease the risk of diabetes, a condition in which your body has trouble using sugar for energy.

Man outside looking at pedometer on his belt.If daily activity is new to you, start slow and steady. Begin with 10 minutes of activity each day. Then work up to at least 30 minutes a day. Do this by adding a few minutes each week. It doesn’t have to be done all at once. Each active period throughout the day adds up.

You don’t have to join a gym or own pricey sports equipment. Just get out and walk. Walking is an aerobic exercise that makes your heart and lungs work hard. It helps your heart and blood vessels. Walking requires only a sturdy pair of sneakers and your own two feet. The more you walk, the easier it gets.

  • Schedule time every day to move your feet.
  • Make it part of your daily routine.
  • Walk with a friend or a group to keep it interesting and fun.
  • Try taking several short walks during the day to meet your daily activity goal.

Click here to read more.

Prediabetes – Are You at Risk?

Man and woman consulting with doctor.

It is estimated that out of 35 million Canadians, approximately 5.7 million have prediabetes (Canadian Diabetes Association).

Prediabetes means that the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood is too high. Without changes to your lifestyle, you may develop type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is chronic (ongoing) and needs to be managed for the rest of your life. Diabetes can harm the body and your health by damaging organs, such as your eyes and kidneys. It makes you more likely to have heart disease. And it can damage nerves and blood vessels.

Risk Factors For Prediabetes

The exact cause of prediabetes is not clear. But certain risk factors make a person more likely to have it. These include:

  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having had gestational diabetes
  • Not being physically active
  • Being African American, Asian-American, Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander

Click here to learn more about Prediabetes, including diagnosis and treatment.

 

Soccer ‘headers’ and concussion

A female soccer player heading the ballDr. Tom Schweizer, director of the neuroscience research program at St. Michael’s Hospital, found that concussions account for up to 8.6 per cent of all soccer injuries. Many of these concussions are the result of heading (when a soccer player uses their own head to advance the ball). Even when the blows are not severe enough to result in a concussion, the repeated hits to the head can add up and may be damaging to thinking and memory.

Click here to read the whole article by City News Toronto.

Click here to watch a video on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of concussions.

Tips to prevent Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Woman lying in bed holding compress to forehead.Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to your brain that changes the way your brain works. A TBI can change the way you think, feel, act, and move.

A TBI can result from anything that jolts your brain. Some causes are a fall, a car accident, a fight, or a sports injury. About half of all TBIs are caused by car accidents.

The first tip is to recognize the dangers of a TBI and avoid risky behavior. Here are some other tips:

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Don’t use drugs or alcohol to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety.
  • Take good care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Get good quality sleep.
  • Spend time with your friends and family and be active in social activities. People who become isolated and withdrawn from loved ones are more likely to engage in risky behaviors.
  • Wear a seat belt when you drive.
  • Wear a helmet if you ride a motorcycle or bicycle. Also wear one if you engage in any high-risk activities like skiing, contact sports, or snowmobiling.

Click here to read more.