Now that it’s summer and you’re more likely to be out in the sun for long periods of time, I thought it was appropriate to address skin cancer risk. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. Over-exposure to UV radiation is the primary cause of skin cancer. Experts think that risk for melanoma skin cancer is related to the severity of the burn.
Sun and Skin Cancer
The best way to reduce risk of skin cancer is to protect your skin from sun damage. Here are three tips for reducing risk for skin Cancer:
- Limit sun exposure between 10am and 4pm when UV rays are strongest
- Wear protective clothing or protect exposed body parts with shade. Remember if light can pass through fabric, then UV rays can too.
- Choose a wide-brimmed hat
If you are going to get sun exposure, be sure to use a broad spectrum sunscreen that has SPF of at least 15. I’ve heard that you should use a shot glass size amount of sunscreen to adequately cover your body no matter what color your skin is. Try that out, but make sure to clean the shot glass afterwards!
Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer
Some people believe that by using a tanning bed, they are protecting themselves from skin cancer. Unfortunately, this is not true. There is nothing safe about tanning, whether indoor or out. Commercial tanning beds expose you to UV light just as the sun does. So if you’re going to be exposed to UV rays, at least be outside where you can have a good time!!
Diet and Skin Cancer
So far, there is no conclusive evidence linking diet to skin cancer. However, there is an association between arsenic in drinking water and skin cancer. In the US, drinking water is regulated. If you are on your own well however, you are responsible for testing the water.
Other than not drinking arsenic water, the best foods to fight skin cancer are those with lots of phytochemicals! While at the University of Arizona in Tucson for grad school, I remember researchers looking at a phytochemical in lemon skin (zest) for reducing risk of skin cancer. So in honor of lemon zest, I leave you this recipe!
Bok Choy with Sautéed Mushrooms and Shallots
Bok Choy with Sauteed Mushrooms and Shallots
Serve this delightful vegetable dish with brown rice and grilled salmon.
- 2 tsp. canola or olive oil
- 1 package (8 oz. sliced mushrooms)
- 2 shallots (minced)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1 1/2 pounds bok choy (rinsed and chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 tsp. lite soy sauce
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- In large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir-fry until mushrooms darken, about 5 minutes.
- Add bok choy and stir-fry for about 8-10 minutes until tender. Sprinkle with soy sauce, lemon zest and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.
- Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 65 calories, 3 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 213 mg sodium.
Recipe from AICR