Everyone loves the summer time and with summer comes more sun exposure. Whether we have fair skin or dark skin, thinking about how much sun exposure we get is a good idea because we don’t want to burn or get heat stroke. But another side effect that often is brought up with sun exposure is skin cancer. Does the sun cause skin cancer? The purpose of this article is to go through various facts surrounding skin cancer to see if there is truly a link between the two.
The sun is the giver of life on this planet, there is no doubting that. But is it dangerous to our health? What may be surprising right off the top is that up until the time of writing this the sun has never ever been linked to solely causing skin cancer. All medical and governmental reports regarding patients with skin cancer have never been linked to the sun being the main cause. There have been suggestions that it may have played a role, but results are flimsy due to the lack of evidence.
This myth was created and brought forward by the sunscreen industry, dermatologists and the cancer industry. Like with many other mainstream medical conditions, unfortunately people who do get skin cancers are often just thrown into the category of having got it from sun exposure without ever really being looked at as to why they got it. This has been an issue the medical field has not looked at greatly when it comes to various diseases because it often requires much time and testing with specific patients to really determine the causes.
We hear it everywhere that if you go out in the sun without sunscreen you have a higher risk of getting skin cancer because of harmful UV rays. To more accurately put it, you do not get skin cancer from the sun you get skin cancer because you are not properly nourished and are often exposed to other chemicals that are linked to cancer. The National Academy of Sciences published a review stating that the Omega 6:3 ratio is the key to preventing skin cancers.
“Epidemiological, experimental, and mechanistic data implicate omega-6 fat as stimulators and long-chain omega-3 fats as inhibitors of development and progression of a range of human cancers, including melanoma.”
Interestingly, when we look at products we use daily that contain known cancer causing agents, we find that the likelihood our skin cancers are linked to these products is much higher than it being linked to the sun. However, these products are overlooked and the immediate blame is put on the sun. A problem that has become a matter of public belief based on nothing but opinion and propaganda created amongst several industries.
Here are a list of some popular products used daily that are linked to causing skin cancer.
- Processed foods
- Pharmaceutical drugs & prescriptions
- Most Shampoos & Conditioners
- Many health & beauty products (creams, lotions, makeup)
- Tap water (chlorine, fluoride)
- Most deodorant & cologne
- Ink (computers, newspapers, magazines, fliers)
- Cleaning supplies
- Chemical fertilizers (used on most commercial produce)
- Pesticides & herbicides (found on non organic foods)
- Hair dye
- Oil products
- Most plastics
- Fluorescent light bulbs (energy efficient bulbs)
I think that we often forget to look at the obvious when we look at things in this world. When we step back and think about it, how can the one thing that gives life to everything on this planet be so harmful to you? Yet here we are as a community stating that every time we get skin cancer is most likely was caused by over sun exposure. But everyday we were using chemicals that had a much much higher chance of creating skin cancer within the body.
We have been heavily trained to use protective products on our skin when we go out in the sun. We all know these products as sunscreens. The fact is, these “protective” agents are actually accelerating the creation of cancer within our bodies because they are toxic chemicals.
Researchers at the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based nonprofit, released a report confirming nearly half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate. These substances have been known to be cancer causing and toxic for years by the FDA but they simply have not taken any action in notifying the public of the dangers.
We must also look at the vitamin D factor here. We all have been told the sun provides vitamin D for us as it is absorbed through the skin. This is true. However, if you are wearing sunscreen, you body is unable to take in any vitamin D. How many times have you gone out in the sun to get some fresh air and an intake of vitamin D and put on sunscreen? For many people, it is probably most of the time. This process increases the risk of cancer not just because a cancer causing chemical is being applied to the skin, but because vitamin D is responsible for the decrease of 4 out of 5 cancers of every kind as well, as many other diseases when levels are properly maintained in the body.
So if you are the type of person that spends a lot of time in the sun and wants to avoid burning the skin, you have many of simple options that will not cause you any harm. First off, nourish your body and skin by having the proper vitamins and antioxidants. If you are deficient in antioxidants and vitamin B, you are much more likely to get a sun burn as your skin is not healthy enough to take in the UV rays properly. Those with darker skin are able to have their skin act as a built in sunscreen which means they will have a much harder time getting burnt. When out in the sun, limit your exposure to smaller increments to build your skins health up. Always use sunscreen as a last resort when out in the sun for a long time. When shopping for sunscreens be sure to read the labels and avoid buying sunscreens loaded with toxic chemicals. Look our for oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. It may be tough to find but a trip to a natural health store can often do the trick. Look for sunscreens that contain zinc and titanium minerals as opposed to toxic chemicals as listed above. Only use sunscreens when absolutely necessary!
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