The Top, Top Ten
There’s certainly no lacking of Top 10 lists. Top 10 Classic Rock Songs of All Time. Top 10 Bizarre Phobias People Suffer From. Midway through that particular list (from Listverse.com) is one I’ve never heard of: nomophobia, which is the fear of being without a mobile phone. I’m guessing my grandparents never suffered from that. Top 10 Things to do in Nassau. (Yes, I’m already dreaming of my next vacation.) Then there are David Letterman’s nightly Top 10 lists from The Late Show, including topics such as “Top 10 Words That Almost Rhyme with Peas” and “Top Ten Reasons I’m Glad to be Named Justin Bieber.”
None of those float your boat? How about Top 10 Unbelievable Things Found Underwater? In case you’re wondering, number 1 on this list, also from Listverse.com, is The Great Blue Hole in Belize – the largest sinkhole ever recorded. Then there’s this: 10 Statues That People Like to Touch in Inappropriate Ways. Let’s just leave that one alone, shall we?
Not to be forgotten are the movies: Ten Things I Hate About You. How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days. Okay, so that one doesn’t exactly fall in a top 10 category, but I loved that movie and it does have ‘10’ in the title. You can find Top Ten lists on a myriad of topics: people, sports, foods, games, books. Time Magazine even published a “Top 10 of Everything of 2016.” That’s an ambitious list.
I came across one “10” list though, that stands above the rest, and it is because this list could save your life. Dramatic? Perhaps, but practicing sun awareness and preventing skin cancer is serious business.
Here we go:
Ten Skin Cancer Myths Debunked
- I am not at risk to get skin cancer because my routine doesn’t include any outdoor activities.
False. Brief sun exposure throughout the year can add up to significant damage, especially for people with fair skin. Do you drive your car with your sunroof open? Or walk around outdoor shopping centers? You could be exposing your skin to damaging UV rays.
- A tanning bed is safer than UV rays from the sun.
False. Don’t use them. Ever.
- People who tan easily and rarely burn will not get skin cancer.
False. There is no such thing as a healthy suntan. Any change in your natural skin color is a sign of skin damage, and tanning greatly increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
- Dark-skinned men and women are not at risk for sun damage and skin cancer.
False. Having a darker skin tone does not make you immune to skin cancer.
- If you have a funny-looking or suspicious mole, your doctor can always cut it off before it turns cancerous.
False. An annual (or more frequent) skin cancer screen is necessary to identify skin cancer in its early stages. The odd-looking mole on your arm may already be cancerous.
- You don’t need to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day.
False. The sun can burn your skin and cause long-term damage, even in cloudy weather.
- SPF 30 is all the SPF protection you need; anything higher is all the same.
False. Higher SPF sunscreens provide additional sunburn protection. Be sure to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours.
- Teenagers and young people don’t have to worry about skin cancer; it only affects older adults.
False. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults.
- Only UVB radiation can cause skin damage.
False. Both UVA and UVB cause sunburns and damage skin, possibly leading to skin cancer. Make sure your sunscreen is “broad spectrum”, providing protection from both UVA and UVB.
- I ski, snowboard and am outside a lot, but I don’t need to wear sunscreen because it’s winter.
False. Snow reflects the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn and damage to your skin.
(American Society for Dermatologic Surgery)
While other Top 10 lists may be more entertaining, this list is one I’d like you to take to heart. Your health, and your life, are worth it.