An Amish man lived on a quiet, rural highway. But, as time went by, the traffic built up. It became so heavy and fast that his chickens were being run over at a rate of six a day. So he called the sheriff’s office and said, “You’ve got to do something about all of these tourists driving so fast and killing all of my chickens.”  “What do you want me to do?” asked the sheriff.  “I don’t care, just do something about these drivers.”  So the next day the sheriff had the county go out and put up a sign that said: Slow: School Crossing.  Three days later, the Amish man again called the sheriff and said, “That sign didn’t help a bit. They are still hitting my chickens.”  So the next day, the county put up a sign that said: Slow: Children At Play. Again, no change. So the Amish man called every day for three weeks. Finally, he told the sheriff, “Look, your signs are just not working. Mind if I put up one of my own? The sheriff told him, “Sure thing, let’s see if yours works better.”  (He was willing to agree to anything to get him to stop those daily calls.) Well, the sheriff got no more calls from the Amish man. After three weeks, he decided to call and see how things were going.  “Did you put up your sign?”  “I sure did. And not one chicken has been killed since. I’ve got to go. I’m very busy.” And he hung up the phone.  The sheriff thought, “I’d better go have a look at that sign. This might be something we could use to slow down drivers…”  So the sheriff drove out to the Amish man’s house, and he saw the sign. It was on a whole sheet of plywood. Written in large, yellow letters were the words: Slow: Nudist Colony.

As summer comes to Canada, every year it seems that  people are wearing less and less clothing.  But if skin cancer continues to rise at the alarming rate it is, the reverse may become true, very summer people wearing more and more clothing.  Here is why:

● Our skin pays a hefty price for fun in the sun.  Not only is ultraviolet exposure from the sun’s rays the leading cause of skin cancer, but also it’s 90% of the reason for skin aging – fine lines, deep wrinkles, brown spots, loss of elasticity, etc.

● Cancers of the skin (most being basal cell and squamous cell skin types) are by far the most common of all types of the disease.  In Canada, 80,000 such cases are diagnosed each year, with 5,000 being melanoma (the  most serious and often fatal) kind.

● In a United Nations study of the top countries in the world for getting skin cancer, Canada ranked #19 of the 195 nations found on this  globe (New Zealand was first, Australia was second, Switzerland was third, Sweden was fourth, and Norway was fifth).

● Canada has seen a real rise in the number of skin cancer cases over the past 25 years.  As a matter of fact, more Canadians go to see a doctor regarding a skin disorder than for any other reason including: blood pressure, back pain, high cholesterol and diabetes.

● For the past number of years, sun-screens have been promoted as the best safe-guard against skin cancer.  But now both the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) and AMA (American Medical Association) are expressing rising concerns about these lotions. (inside)

● In clinical tests sunscreen lotions have been found to be depositing their chemicals (such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule) into the human blood stream.  This in turn can lead to a whole set of medical issues, including birth defects.

● With chemical sunscreens getting further testing, a different type of sunscreen, mineral,  is now being promoted as safe and effective.  But the zinc and titanium oxide mixture is harder to put on, makes you look like a ghost, and comes off in the water.

● So the latest stats?   1 in 5 adults will get skin cancer, more than 5 sunburns doubles your melanoma risk, parents slack on sun protection as kids get older, 25% of women and 50% of men never use sunscreen, and one person dies of skin cancer every hour every day.

What then is a dermatologist’s advice?  It  is not to stay out of the sun (need Vitamin D) but to cover up in the sun.  And today a whole new fashion line of sun-protective/body covering  attire has been developed to guard the skin from getting cancer.  This clothing does so by blocking out almost all of the sun’s harmful rays. Each piece carries a UPF (Ultra-violet Protection Factor) rating.  The highest rated UPF material (50) fends off 98% of ultraviolet rays (in comparison to a regular cotton t-shirt which has a  UPF rating of five means it is only one-tenth as effective.

The bottom line?  Melanoma is the third-most common  form of cancer in women between ages 15-29 .   But 15-29  is also prime-age for young gals wearing their beach bikinis.  So let’s hope the old adage is true “A good scare is often more effective than good advice.”