Friday, July 15, 2011

Skin Cancer Risk for Runners + Cyclists, Meet The Moment, RokitFuel Giveaway

I received the following press release and felt it was worthwhile and timely to pass on this great information.

Tips for Runners and Cyclists on How to Reduce Risk to Melanoma Skin Cancer

MINNEAPOLIS (July 2011) -- If you love running and want to enjoy it well into your senior years protect yourself from the sun. That’s the advice for America’s 36 million runners from a leading plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has treated thousands of patients over the course of his 15-year career for skin cancer and melanoma.

As the sun intensifies in its strength throughout the summer, runners need to take precautions against the sun’s harmful rays, says Dr. Sam Economou, who leads Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd., a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery practice located in Edina, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis.

The reason is simple. Skin cancer is on the rise. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, more than two million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year. In addition, about 68,000 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, are diagnosed yearly.

While more people are detecting cancer earlier, increasing their chances of survival, cancer rates are actually rising, especially among young people who use tanning booths and those who do not use sunblock when working and playing outside.

Running is about spending time outdoors. And more often than not, most runners enjoy running when the weather is nice and sunny. That puts many of America’s 36 million runners at risk for skin cancer, says Dr. Economou. The more time you spend outdoors running, the greater risk of exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation and sunburns.

Runners have several strikes against them when it comes to skin cancer, notes Dr. Economou. Because many runners run near their homes and often times not more than an hour, they think they’re not at risk if they don’t put on sunblock. According to a Runner’s World poll, upwards of 50 to 60 percent of people who run regularly never use sunblock. The problem is that runners tend to expose more skin than other athletes because of the clothes they wear, and because many wear t-shirts that do little to block the sun’s rays. In addition, many runners may not realize that water, sand, asphalt streets and snow reflect dangerous UV rays.

To help runners lower their risk of developing skin cancer, Dr. Economou offers these tips:

  • Apply sunblock.
  • Wear a hat or helmet and Polarized UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Move your run and cycling time.
  • Avoid sunburns.
  • Stay hydrated.
Conduct skin cancer self-examinations. If you have a fair complexion, multiple freckles and moles, and experienced severe sunburns as a child, you have some of the leading risk factors for skin cancer. Take this seriously especially if you spend a fair amount of time outside running. At least once a month, before you get into or just out of the shower, look at your skin. Look at moles and freckles to see if you notice any changes in their shape, size, color or asymmetry. Make an appointment once a year with your doctor or a dermatologist to look at your skin as part of an annual exam. Especially watch moles and freckles on high-risk areas of your body, the face, nose, ears, the back of your hands and your calves.


A couple of month's ago, I wrote about the CLIF Bar Meet the Moment initiative - To protect the places people play, CLIF BAR also will donate $5 to one of five non-profits dedicated to protecting outdoor places each time someone creates and uploads their first Moment. To further support these conservation and preservation efforts, CLIF BAR will double its contribution to each non-profit if people submit 10,000 Moments by July 31. All told, CLIF BAR, the nation’s #1 energy bar, could contribute up to $125,000 to the five organizations.

Well, time is almost up - you have until July 31st to create your own Moment and help out some dynamite organizations and also have a chance to win of 3 dream vacations!

We got some good news recently - my Moment was chosen as one of the most inspiring in the Hiking/Trekking category, winning $200 worth of gear. Laima and I took a look at REI and chose a camp kitchen for our next camping adventure and a slackline for down times at the campground or at home. I'll have reviews of both products in the fall, when it's likely we'll go camping again - too hot and buggy right now!


Don't forget the RokitFuel giveaway happening here at Midwest Multisport Life and also over at Women's Endurance Gear - you have until Sunday night to get your entries in. Enter at both sites to double your chances!

Have a great Weekend All!


  1. Thanks for the reminder. I know I'm way too lax about sunscreen, mostly because I hate the greasy feeling. Do you, or any other readers, have suggestions for good sunscreens??

  2. Great reminder on the sunscreen. I always wear a halo doo-rag to cover my bald head (under my cycling helmet) and a running hat. But I rarely put anything on my face, arms or legs. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Ditto on BC. Despite the fashion implications, I am wearing my headband (to hold in the earbuds) and a hat on top to avoid the burn. Gee runner, I guess.

    On the bike I always wear a hat underneath my helmet.

    And it's either sunscreen or arm sleeves on the arms.

  4. thanks for posting this. hearing those words "i'm sorry, i'm afraid it's cancer" are horrible.


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