In the United States we may soon be living in a world of medical Health Plans where there are no pre existing conditions that could cause you to be uninsurable.  Insurance carriers and their health plans, in order to stay solvent, will have to “rate up” folks who have health problems. That rate up will cause your health insurance premiums to be very expensive.   Right now they may, by law, rate someone’s health premium up one hundred and fifty percent.  They can also offer you a high deductible health plan that might take a hefty chunk out of your savings account should you become ill and require treatment other than doctor visits.  Some cancers, like skin cancer are preventable.  A wise person would do well to do everything they can to prevent this life threatening disease.

A lot of people love the feel of the sun on their skin.  The Skin Cancer Foundation has a few things to say about that feeling of the sun on your skin.  “Today, the general public knows more about sun damage and sun protection than ever before.  However, not that many people are aware of a phenomenon that can accelerate and exacerbate sun damage, making the need for caution outdoors even more urgent.  This phenomenon is called photosensitivity – an abnormally increased skin sensitivity to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UVR) brought on by certain medications and medical conditions.  Exposure to UVR can cause not only sunburn but also lasting damage to skin and eyes.  This may result in premature skin aging, skin cancer and eye disorders such as cataracts, pterygium and cancer of the conjunctiva and eyelid.  The effects of UVR are cumulative so damage builds up even without burning.

Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer.  A person’s risk for melanoma–the most serious form of skin cancer–doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns.  Starting next summer the FDA has new rules “for sunscreen labeling to give consumers better information about the products’ effectiveness and that will, for the first time, allow labeling to claim that sunscreens protect against skin cancer and early skin aging” according to The Spokesman Review.

This from the FDA Press Release dated June 14, 2011: “The final regulation allows sunscreen products that pass the FDA’s test for protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to be labeled as “Broad Spectrum”.  Both UVB and UVA radiation contribute to sunburn, skin cancer and premature skin aging.  Sunburn is primarily caused by UVB radiation.”  The press release went on to say “Products that have SPF values between 2 and 14 may be labeled as Broad Spectrum and SPF 15 (or higher) may state that they reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, when used as directed.”

Translation:  don’t go out in the sun without using sunscreen of at least 15!