Ovarian Cancer Research

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Ovarian Cancer Research

Ovarian, Cancer, research, researches, cancers, women’s, woman, diagnosed, diagnose

Ovarian cancer is a silent killer and is one of the deadliest threats to women’s health. The American Cancer Society says that about 20,180 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year alone. Every woman faces a risk of 1:57 risk of getting ovarian cancer in her lifetime.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are not perceptible until the cancer becomes widespread and critical, which explains why thousands of women die of this dreaded disease every year. Although ovarian cancer is treatable, in most instances, it is detected late causing complications and death to ovarian cancer patients.

Since to date there is no sure and effective way to diagnose or detect ovarian cancer in its early stage, specialists, research groups and cancer advocacy groups and the government organizations are doing every ovarian cancer research work they can to finally shed light into the gray areas of this deadly disease. Some organizations provide grants for those willing and interested to conduct an ovarian cancer research.

Among the most prominent organizations that promote awareness on ovarian cancer is the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. It was formed in 1997 by seven ovarian cancer advocacy groups who joined forces to strengthen efforts to promote ovarian cancer education.

Ovarian cancer research teams probe into several areas of ovarian cancer including its symptoms (both in the early and the latter stage), stages, risk factors, prevention, risk reduction, and treatment, with the aim of increasing awareness on this cancer. Knowledge on the said areas can be a woman’s greatest protection against this cancer.

However apart from the fact that there are many information gaps that still need to be filled, ovarian cancer researches are conducted in response to this cancer’s high mortality rate. In the United States, ovarian cancer is the fifth among the gynecologic cancers that place women at the brink of death. Over 50% of all women diagnosed with the disease are about to die within a period of five years, researches show. It is with this fact that ovarian cancer research groups are exerting their best effort to uncover hidden truths about ovarian cancer.

Most ovarian cancer researches reveal that women with ovarian cancer show the following symptoms: persistent and baffling gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, digestive disturbances, bloating or swelling of the abdomen, pain in the abdominal and pelvic area, fatigue, frequent urinating, and abnormal bleeding during the postmenopausal stage.

A recent ovarian cancer research conducted by University of California shows that more than one-third of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have shown the symptoms at least four months before they have been diagnosed with the cancer; hence, there’s a good chance that ovarian cancer can be diagnosed earlier.

Researchers explained that the reason why the cancer is detected only when it’s already in its advanced state is that doctors do not perform tests that could possibly diagnose the cancer immediately. Doctors would usually have the patients undergo abdominal imaging and some gastrointestinal procedures, which they say re not that effective in diagnosing this disease.

Other ovarian cancer research works are concerned about improving treatment of ovarian cancer and preventing this disease. Many clinical studies are conducted to carefully analyze a drug’s potential in preventing high-risk women from developing ovarian cancer and in treating those in the early and latter stages of the cancer.

Understanding Chronic Leukemia

499

Leukemia is a disease of the blood and bone marrow that occurs on the background of genetic

chronic leukemia,leukemia

Leukemia is a disease of the blood and bone marrow that occurs on the background of genetic predispositions to cancer. Leukemia affects the cellular process of maturation, causing the accumulation of immature blood cells in the spinal marrow and bloodstream. In some cases leukemia causes the incomplete cells to multiply very quickly, while in other cases the abnormal blood cells have prolonged periods of life and persist in different places inside the body. Incomplete blood cells can’t substitute for normal blood cells, as they can’t carry out their roles. The cells affected by leukemia are therefore incompatible with the organism and can cause serious damage.

Judging by the speed of development and the persistence of the disorder, there are two types of leukemia: acute leukemia and chronic leukemia. Judging by the types of stem cells affected by the disorder, leukemia can either be lymphocytic or myelogenous.

Acute leukemia is different from chronic leukemia by the levels that stem cells are able to reach in their development (stem cells that present anomalies still manage to partially develop and either resemble immature cells or complete, normal white blood cells).

Acute leukemia is a form of cancer that develops very rapidly. It is manifested through overpopulation of the blood with immature cells that are unable to fulfill the functions of normal blood cells. In the case of acute leukemia, the marrow is unable to produce normal quantities of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Patients who suffer from leukemia also develop anemia, a deficiency of normal red blood cells. Also, a decreased number of white blood cells reduces the body’s ability of overcoming infections, while the lack of platelets facilitates inflammation and bleeding.

Chronic leukemia tends to develop slower than acute leukemia. In the case of chronic leukemia, the body is able to produce blood cells that are more mature than those produced in acute leukemia. Although these cells may appear incomplete, they can’t fulfill their roles inside the organism and tend to cluster at different levels of the body. They also have a longer period of life.

Chronic leukemia of lymphocytic form is known to affect a type of blood cell called B lymphocyte. The disease weakens the immune system, interferes in the normal activity of the spinal marrow and facilitates the access of harmful cells to body organs. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia first occurs at the levels of the bone marrow, but can quickly spread to different organs and tissue through the bloodstream.

The presence of chronic lymphocytic leukemia is usually revealed by blood tests and careful body examination. Although apparently some people may have no symptoms of the disease, other patients may experience fatigue, lack of concentration, poor balance, memory loss, deterioration of vision and hearing, vertigos, body weakness, joint and bone pains. Just like in other forms of the disease, chronic leukemia requires immediate specific treatment and therapy. The chances of fully overcoming the disease are considerably enhanced if it is discovered quickly.

Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is the third as far as the incidence rate is concerned among malignant cancers in men. This number is constantly increasing, which is in a way connected with a longer life span among male population and better diagnostic methods.

cancer, prostate, diagnosis, therapy

Copyright 2006 Radoslaw Pilarski

Etiology

Etiology of prostate cancer development is not completely known. Factors that can influence the creation and development of this type of cancer include:

genetic factors ?increase in risk of falling ill among men with a positive family history regarding the prostate cancer. Mutations of suppressor genes are also taken into consideration (p53)

dietetic factors ?food rich in saturated fatty acids probably increases the risk of falling ill whereas the consumption of soya and rice may have a beneficial protective effect racial and geographical factors ?Afro-Americans are 100% more likely to fall ill, whereas the lowest death rate is reported in Japan and in China

occupational factors ?cancerogenous influence of heavy metals and toxins infectious factors ?viral infection may lead to/ be the cause of anaplasia of adenocyte cells of prostate

Histopathologically, 95% prostate cancer cases occur in the form of adenocarcinoma. Other types (primary intracellular cancer, squamous carcinoma, anaplastic carcinoma, and sarcoma) are rarely met. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the peripheral area of the prostate (85%), in the transition area (25% ) and in the central area (5%).

Symptoms

In symptomatology of the prostate cancer, 4 clinical forms are distinguished:

1) visible form with distinct pathological symptoms 2) latent form (carcinoma latens) with no distinct pathological symptoms found 3) hidden form (ca occultum) which is detected in the case of distinct ailments caused by the existence of remote metastases, however changes in prostate are not found in the course of per rectum examination 4) accidentally detected form – based on histopathological test of the gland that was removed because of prostate overgrowth, or based on biochemical tests (PSA) During the development of prostate cancer, an induction phase that lasts about 30 years which is clinically invisible can be distinguished. During the next stage – in situ phase (5-10 years) and invasive phase (1 year), ailments connected with the local growth of tumour start to appear. During this period, symptoms connected with sub bladder obstacle appear including mainly: – pallakiuria – nycturia – weak urine stream – painful vesical tenesmus – impression of incompletion of bladder emptying The above-mentioned symptoms are typical of cancer and in some cases they may suggest mild overgrowth of prostate, or neurogenic or athermatous bladder disorders. During the dissemination phase (about 5 years), prostate cancer develops continuously infiltrating surrounding organs, such as: urinary bladder, rectum, ureters, pelvic walls and leading to urinary retention in kidneys and to secondary failure of function. Ailments typical for this period include: – haematuria – dysuria – urinary incontinence – erection disorders – aches of perineum, lumbar area and anus – haematospermia Metastases spread through the lymphatic vessels and the vascular system. Symptoms caused by the existence of remote metastases are as follows: – osteodynia and pathological fractures – pressure symptoms and spinal paralysis – lymphadema of limbs – clotting disorders – cachexy – coma

DIAGNOSTICS

In order to diagnose the prostate cancer, patient should undergo per rectum tests (DRE), PSA concentration (prostate specific antigen) in blood serum should be determined, ultrasonography per rectum examination (TRUS – transrectal ultrasound) should be done and if there is a suspicion of prostate cancer, histopathological test of the material obtained through a per rectum thick-needle biopsy done under the ultrasound control should take place. Histopathological test is the only test that confirms the presence of cancerous cells in the prostate gland area. DRE, which is an examination of sensitivity of 80% sensitivity and of specificity of 60%, enables to seize changes in the area of the prostate such as consistency change, palpable nodules and hardenings. It is the base for sending a patient to a diagnostic biopsy. At present, it is believed that cytological diagnosis achieved through a fine-needle biopsy is not sufficient to make a right diagnosis. It results from the fact that the assessment according to Gleason’s classification is an important prognostic factor for the prostate cancer (see: prognostic factors). That is why a thick-needle biopsy is performed. Ultrasound use enables to take precise samples from suspicious foci. If there are no changes in TRUS picture, “sextant biopsy” is done (samples got for several places).

Recommendations for the biopsy of prostate gland: 1) palpable suspicion of the prostate cancer 2) PSA value over 15ng/ml regardless of DRE or TRUS tests 3) PSA value between 4 and 15 ng/ml with abnormalities detected during DRE or TRUS tests 4) PSA value exceeds the norm for a given age in the case of a positive family history regarding the prostate cancer

Recommendations for TRUS: 1) PSA between 4 and 12 ng/ml with abnormalities detected 2) questionable result of DRE test 3) necessity of a thick-needle biopsy Other diagnostic tests, such as CT and urography are not routinely performed because their value is questionable as far as the assessment of local stage and invasion of adjacent lymph nodes is concerned. Nowadays, magnetic resonance tomography done using transrectal coli (endorectal coil MRI – ERMR) to observe the prostate arouses great interest. Despite the increased sensitivity of the degree of the local stage, costs of the test do not allow for its routine use in the prostate cancer diagnosis. Scintigraphy of the skeleton is the most sensitive test (97%) in bone metastases detection. It is assumed that a patient with PSA under 10 ng/ml does not undergo scintigraphy because the probability of metastases is low.

Screening:

Screening: It is recommended that patients aged over 50 should undergo per rectum tests and PSA level tests every year.

PROGNOSTIC FACTORS:

Three groups of prognostic factors can be distinguished in the case of the prostate cancer:

1) development stage according to TNM 2) differentiation degree of the cancer based on the classification of Gleason and Mostofi 3) PSA level (prostate-specific antigen) in serum TNM classification

Preoperative assessment of the stage of the prostate cancer is made based on the above-mentioned tests.

T-stage: primary tumour

Tx – primary tumour cannot be assessed T0 – no evidence of primary tumour T1 – clinically unapparent tumour; not palpable or visible by per rectum imaging T1a – incidental tumour found in histopathological tests after transurethral resection of the prostate or after operational adenectomy: found in 5% or less resected tissue T1b – as above; found in more than 5% resected tissue T1c – tumour identified histopathologically by a needle biopsy (because of high PSA) T2 – tumour confined within the prostate gland T2a – tumour involves less than half of one lobe T2b – tumour involves more than half of one lobe only T2c – tumour involves both lobes T3 – tumour extends through the prostatic capsule T3a – extracapsular extensions (unilateral) T3b – extracapsular extensions (bilateral) T3c – tumour invades seminal vesicles T4 – tumour is fixed, invades adjacent structures other than seminal vesicles T4a – tumour invades bladder neck and/or external sphincter and/or rectum T4b – tumour invades levator muscles and/or pelvic wall N-stage: regional lymph nodes

Nx – regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed N0 – no regional lymph node metastases N1 – metastasis to a single regional lymph node with the diameter under 2cm N2 – metastasis to a single regional lymph node with the diameter > 2cm but < 5cm N3 - metastases to regional lymph nodes with the diameter over 5cm M-stage: remote metastases Mx – remote metastasis cannot be assessed M0 – no remote metastases M1 – remote metastases M1a – non-regional lymph nodes M1b – bones M1c – other sites According to Whitmor-Catalon classification, grades A, B, C, and D correspond to T1, T2, T3 and T4 of TNM classification respectively. Degree of cancer differentiation: Degree of differentiation is defined according to 2 classifications: by Mostofi and by Gleason. Mostofi’s classification uses a 3-grade assessment of differentiation dependent on the degree of cell anaplasia ?grading (G1-G3). The higher grade, the lower differentiation of cancer tissue, the greater atypy and at the same time, malignancy. In the case of a 10-grade Gleason system, the two extreme histological images in the preparation are assessed and then, added to produce a final grade. PSA is a proteolyctic enzyme responsible for sperm melting. It is mainly produced by glandular epithelium, it might be also produced in organs such as salivary glands, pancreas and mammary gland and by clear cell carcinoma. Commonly used norm is the following: 0-4 ng/ml. Such concentration of PSA is found among 97% of men over 40. The level over 12 ng/ml is always connected with pathology. Difficulties with diagnosis are found among patients who have this level between 5-10 ng/ml because it may both stem from the prostate cancer or a mild overgrowth of the prostate, which causes the necessity of diagnostic methods use, such as TRUS. This test makes it possible to determine PSA density (PSAD – PSA density) – PSA concentration converted to prostate volume unit. It should be under 0.15 ng/ml/g. In the case of prostate cancer differentiation and mild overgrowth of prostate, free to total PSA (PSA F/T) is used. If it is over 20%, one may assume the presence of cancerous cells in the gland. PSA level does not correlate well enough with the natural development of the prostate cancer. However, it is useful as a prognostic factor after the treatment applied and in prognosis determination. However, high final levels indicate low survival rate. TREATMENT Proceeding strategy in patients with the prostate cancer depends on the degree of histological malignancy, the degree of local stage of development, coexisting diseases and age of a patient. There are many controversies as far as the choice of treatment is concerned. Radical treatment is possible in T1, T2 and N0 and Mo stages. In advanced cases (T3, T4, N-+, M-+), the procedure is restricted to delay the cancer progression and mitigate its effects (palliative treatment). Surgery treatment – radical prostatectomy The surgery consists in the prostate gland removal together with spermatic vesicles and adjacent tissues. Surgery is done through retropubic, transcoccgeal, perineal approach or through laparoscopy. Lymphadenectomy constitutes an integral part of the surgery. If the approach makes it impossible to remove the gland and lymph nodes (perineal approach) at the same time, a separate surgery is carried out. It precedes the operation proper. It is believed that cancerous cells found in the removed lymph nodes are the reason why prostatectomy cannot be performed. Invasion of lymph nodes to a certain extent suggests PSA level over 40ng/ml together with grade >7 in Gleason’s scale.

Recommendations for surgery:

1) cancer limited to the prostate gland (T1BN0M0Gx – T2N0M0Gx, T1AN0M0G3) 2) predictable life span over 10 years 3) consent of a patient If positive chirurgical margins, capsule infiltration or cancerous changes in the removed lymph nodes are found in postoperative microscopic assessment, the prognosis is worse ?such patients are qualified for palliative treatment. The death rate in the postoperative period does not exceed 5%. Intraoperative complications first of all include: bleeding from Santorini’s plexus, damage of rectum wall, underpinning of ureter. Early complications after surgery: thrombotic and embolic complications (phlebothrombosis 3-12%, lung embolism 2-5%) and lymphocele. Late postoperative complications after prostatectomy include: urinary incontinence, erection disorders and narrowing of urethro-vesicular junction).

Radiotherapy

Apart from radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy is an effective method of treatment for patients with regional advanced prostate cancer. In radical treatment, the most frequently done using radiation from external sources, the dose of 50-70 Gy in fractions continuing over 5-7 weeks are given. T1ABC – T2ABCG1 and T1ABCG2 stages require radiation limited to the prostate. In other cases, area that is radiated includes adjacent lymph nodes as well. In recent years, multidimensional imaging with CT (3D conformal radiotherapy) is used in the treatment planning.

Brachytherapy constitutes another method that is used.

Recommendations for radical radiotherapy of the prostate:

1) prostate cancer confined with the organ 2) sufficiently long predictable survival span 3) no disorders in lower urinary tract 4) no disorders in rectum and colon 5) consent of patient to carry out treatment 6) early complications of radiation energy treatment (30% of patients) include dysuria, haematuria, diarrhoea, rectal tenesmus, inflammation of large intestine and rectum. Among later complications (11% of patients) chronic diarrhea, ulceration of rectum, bladder neck stenosis and intestinal fistula stenosis are observed.

Control of patients after radical prostatectomy and radical radiotherapy:

– per rectum test, PSA level in blood serum each 3 months. PSA level should be lower than 1 ng/ml (after radical prostatectomy it should be near to 0). Increase over 0.5 ng/ml within a year means failure of radiotherapy. Hormonotherapy

Hormonal therapy is mainly used as palliative treatment in advanced prostate cancer. It makes it possible to stop symptoms of the disease for some time and then, further progression of the disease takes place. Nowadays, the use of therapy in pulsation system is considered as it delays the development of hormone-resistant cell clones.

Ways of hormonal treatment include: 1) surgery castration (orchidectomy) 2) anti-androgens a) non-steroid b) steroid 3) analogues LH-RH 4) oestrogens, progestogens, inhibitors of androgens synthetase Hormonotherapy by analogues LH-RH is also recommended before planned radical radiotherapy. In the case of hormone-resistant cancer, treatment with combined cytoctatic and hormone (estramustine), however without significant effects.

PROGNOSIS

Prognosis depends on the development stage, degree of differentiation and PSA level (see: prognostic factors).

In T1A, B stage prognosis is good. 10-years survival 35-80%, death rate of the cancer 7-30%. In T2 stage, overall survival equals 34-85%, death rate equals 8-26%. In T3 stage, among patients who undergo non-invasive treatment for 9 years, overall death rate equalled 63%, from cancer ?30%. Depending on the degree of cancer differentiation, 10-year survival of patients is the following: for cells well differentiated – 81%, for cells moderately differentiated – 58% and for cells poorly differentiated – 26%.

Multiple Sclerosis- what is it?

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Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, affects approximately 1 out 1,000 people. Did you also know that women are affected more than men are? For more information about this disease, visit the link below.

multiple sclerosis, sclerosis, MS, central nervous system

Multiple Sclerosis- what is it?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) where the body’s own immune cells attack the nervous system. In Multiple Sclerosis, inflammation of nervous tissue causes the loss of myelin, a fatty material that acts as a sort of protective insulation for the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This demyelination leaves multiple areas of scar tissue (sclerosis) along the covering of the nerve cells, which disrupts the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain, producing the various symptoms of multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis-Causes, symptoms, and risk factors
The cause of multiple Sclerosis is unknown. Geographic studies indicate there may be an environmental factor involved. Multiple Sclerosis is more likely to occur in northern Europe, the northern United States, southern Australia, and New Zealand than in other areas.

Symptoms of multiple Sclerosis vary because the location and extent of each attack varies. There is usually a stepwise progression of the disorder, with episodes that last days, weeks, or months alternating with times of reduced or no symptoms (remission). Recurrence (relapse) is common although non-stop progression without periods of remission may also occur.

The exact cause of the inflammation associated with multiple Sclerosis is unknown. An increase in the number of immune cells in the body of a person with multiple Sclerosis indicates that there may be a type of immune response that triggers the disorder. The most frequent theories about the cause of multiple sclerosis include a virus-type organism, an abnormality of the genes responsible for control of the immune system, or a combination of both factors.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects approximately 1 out of 1,000 people. More women are affected than men are. The disorder most commonly begins between ages 20 and 40, but can strike at any age. Risks include a family history of multiple Sclerosis and living in a geographical area with a higher incidence rate for multiple Sclerosis.

Sunburn: Skin Cancer and Aging of the Skin

549

The experience of sunburn can be a very efficient (i.e. painful) reminder to heed adequate protection on future occasions. However more importantly, it should be a reminder of the long-term effects of sun exposure on our bodies and health ?which can include aging of the skin and skin cancer. In order to more fully understand these consequences, let’s take a look at exactly what sunburn is, its symptoms and its effect on the body.

sun exposure, UV rays, skin cancer, cancer, sunburn, UV exposure, sun damage, skin damage

The experience of sunburn can be a very efficient (i.e. painful) reminder to heed adequate protection on future occasions. However more importantly, it should be a reminder of the long-term effects of sun exposure on our bodies and health ?which can include aging of the skin and skin cancer.

In order to more fully understand these consequences, let’s take a look at exactly what sunburn is, its symptoms and its effect on the body.

Sunburn results when the amount of exposure to the sun, or other ultraviolet light source (e.g. tanning lamps and welding arcs etc.), exceeds the ability of the body’s protective pigment, melanin, to protect the skin. Melanin content varies greatly, but in general darker skinned people have more melanin than lighter skinned. (Although fairer skinned people are generally more prone to getting sunburn than darker skinned people, this certainly does not exclude the latter from risk.)

Sunburn destroys cells in the outer layer of the skin, damaging tiny blood vessels underneath. Burns deeper into the skin’s layers also damage elastic fibers in the skin, which over time and with repeated sun overexposure, can result in the appearance of yellowish, wrinkled skin.

The damage to skin cells from UV exposure (either sunlight or tanning lamps etc.) can also include damage to their DNA. It’s this repeated DNA damage, which can lead to a cell becoming cancerous. With the incidence of skin cancer rising dangerously in many parts of the world, and with its ability to develop and establish itself in the body ‘long?before external signs are detected, — paying attention to this aspect of sun exposure and sunburn should certainly not be ignored if we are serious about preserving our health.

Now while it may be easier to ignore the effects of sunburn occurring at a cellular level, ignoring the external symptoms of sunburn in the days immediately following such exposure is entirely another matter.

While sunburn is usually not immediately obvious, skin discoloration (ranging from slightly pink to severely red or even purplish) will initially appear from 1 ?24 hours after exposure. Although pain is usually worst 6 ?48 hours afterward, the burn can continue to develop for 24 ?72 hours after the incident. Where there is skin peeling, this generally occurs 3 ?8 days after the burn occurs.

While minor sunburns typically cause nothing more than warm/hot skin, slight redness, and tenderness to the affected area, — in more serious cases, extreme redness, swelling and blistering can occur. These blisters filled with fluid may itch and eventually break. This can then cause peeling of the skin, exposing an even tenderer layer of skin underneath.

Severe sunburn can cause very red, blistered skin but can also be accompanied by fever, chills, nausea (in some cases vomiting), and dehydration. In instances of extreme sunburn where the pain is debilitating, medical treatment may be required.

While the immediate effects of sunburn can certainly be painful and cause discomfort, the real deterrent to UV overexposure should be the potential damage to your long-term health ?including the risk of premature aging of the skin along with skin cancer.

Don’t let sunburn and sun overexposure kill your chances of enjoying youthful skin, and a healthy body. Remember, the easiest way to treat sunburn will always be to avoid it in the first place!

Sunburn: Skin Cancer and Aging of the Skin

549

The experience of sunburn can be a very efficient (i.e. painful) reminder to heed adequate protection on future occasions. However more importantly, it should be a reminder of the long-term effects of sun exposure on our bodies and health ?which can include aging of the skin and skin cancer. In order to more fully understand these consequences, let’s take a look at exactly what sunburn is, its symptoms and its effect on the body.

sun exposure, UV rays, skin cancer, cancer, sunburn, UV exposure, sun damage, skin damage

The experience of sunburn can be a very efficient (i.e. painful) reminder to heed adequate protection on future occasions. However more importantly, it should be a reminder of the long-term effects of sun exposure on our bodies and health ?which can include aging of the skin and skin cancer.

In order to more fully understand these consequences, let’s take a look at exactly what sunburn is, its symptoms and its effect on the body.

Sunburn results when the amount of exposure to the sun, or other ultraviolet light source (e.g. tanning lamps and welding arcs etc.), exceeds the ability of the body’s protective pigment, melanin, to protect the skin. Melanin content varies greatly, but in general darker skinned people have more melanin than lighter skinned. (Although fairer skinned people are generally more prone to getting sunburn than darker skinned people, this certainly does not exclude the latter from risk.)

Sunburn destroys cells in the outer layer of the skin, damaging tiny blood vessels underneath. Burns deeper into the skin’s layers also damage elastic fibers in the skin, which over time and with repeated sun overexposure, can result in the appearance of yellowish, wrinkled skin.

The damage to skin cells from UV exposure (either sunlight or tanning lamps etc.) can also include damage to their DNA. It’s this repeated DNA damage, which can lead to a cell becoming cancerous. With the incidence of skin cancer rising dangerously in many parts of the world, and with its ability to develop and establish itself in the body ‘long?before external signs are detected, — paying attention to this aspect of sun exposure and sunburn should certainly not be ignored if we are serious about preserving our health.

Now while it may be easier to ignore the effects of sunburn occurring at a cellular level, ignoring the external symptoms of sunburn in the days immediately following such exposure is entirely another matter.

While sunburn is usually not immediately obvious, skin discoloration (ranging from slightly pink to severely red or even purplish) will initially appear from 1 ?24 hours after exposure. Although pain is usually worst 6 ?48 hours afterward, the burn can continue to develop for 24 ?72 hours after the incident. Where there is skin peeling, this generally occurs 3 ?8 days after the burn occurs.

While minor sunburns typically cause nothing more than warm/hot skin, slight redness, and tenderness to the affected area, — in more serious cases, extreme redness, swelling and blistering can occur. These blisters filled with fluid may itch and eventually break. This can then cause peeling of the skin, exposing an even tenderer layer of skin underneath.

Severe sunburn can cause very red, blistered skin but can also be accompanied by fever, chills, nausea (in some cases vomiting), and dehydration. In instances of extreme sunburn where the pain is debilitating, medical treatment may be required.

While the immediate effects of sunburn can certainly be painful and cause discomfort, the real deterrent to UV overexposure should be the potential damage to your long-term health ?including the risk of premature aging of the skin along with skin cancer.

Don’t let sunburn and sun overexposure kill your chances of enjoying youthful skin, and a healthy body. Remember, the easiest way to treat sunburn will always be to avoid it in the first place!

Sunburn: Skin Cancer and Aging of the Skin

549

The experience of sunburn can be a very efficient (i.e. painful) reminder to heed adequate protection on future occasions. However more importantly, it should be a reminder of the long-term effects of sun exposure on our bodies and health ?which can include aging of the skin and skin cancer. In order to more fully understand these consequences, let’s take a look at exactly what sunburn is, its symptoms and its effect on the body.

sun exposure, UV rays, skin cancer, cancer, sunburn, UV exposure, sun damage, skin damage

The experience of sunburn can be a very efficient (i.e. painful) reminder to heed adequate protection on future occasions. However more importantly, it should be a reminder of the long-term effects of sun exposure on our bodies and health ?which can include aging of the skin and skin cancer.

In order to more fully understand these consequences, let’s take a look at exactly what sunburn is, its symptoms and its effect on the body.

Sunburn results when the amount of exposure to the sun, or other ultraviolet light source (e.g. tanning lamps and welding arcs etc.), exceeds the ability of the body’s protective pigment, melanin, to protect the skin. Melanin content varies greatly, but in general darker skinned people have more melanin than lighter skinned. (Although fairer skinned people are generally more prone to getting sunburn than darker skinned people, this certainly does not exclude the latter from risk.)

Sunburn destroys cells in the outer layer of the skin, damaging tiny blood vessels underneath. Burns deeper into the skin’s layers also damage elastic fibers in the skin, which over time and with repeated sun overexposure, can result in the appearance of yellowish, wrinkled skin.

The damage to skin cells from UV exposure (either sunlight or tanning lamps etc.) can also include damage to their DNA. It’s this repeated DNA damage, which can lead to a cell becoming cancerous. With the incidence of skin cancer rising dangerously in many parts of the world, and with its ability to develop and establish itself in the body ‘long?before external signs are detected, — paying attention to this aspect of sun exposure and sunburn should certainly not be ignored if we are serious about preserving our health.

Now while it may be easier to ignore the effects of sunburn occurring at a cellular level, ignoring the external symptoms of sunburn in the days immediately following such exposure is entirely another matter.

While sunburn is usually not immediately obvious, skin discoloration (ranging from slightly pink to severely red or even purplish) will initially appear from 1 ?24 hours after exposure. Although pain is usually worst 6 ?48 hours afterward, the burn can continue to develop for 24 ?72 hours after the incident. Where there is skin peeling, this generally occurs 3 ?8 days after the burn occurs.

While minor sunburns typically cause nothing more than warm/hot skin, slight redness, and tenderness to the affected area, — in more serious cases, extreme redness, swelling and blistering can occur. These blisters filled with fluid may itch and eventually break. This can then cause peeling of the skin, exposing an even tenderer layer of skin underneath.

Severe sunburn can cause very red, blistered skin but can also be accompanied by fever, chills, nausea (in some cases vomiting), and dehydration. In instances of extreme sunburn where the pain is debilitating, medical treatment may be required.

While the immediate effects of sunburn can certainly be painful and cause discomfort, the real deterrent to UV overexposure should be the potential damage to your long-term health ?including the risk of premature aging of the skin along with skin cancer.

Don’t let sunburn and sun overexposure kill your chances of enjoying youthful skin, and a healthy body. Remember, the easiest way to treat sunburn will always be to avoid it in the first place!