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Staying Cancer-Free With Sunscreen



In A Perfet World, Suncreen Would Be The Next Hand Sanitizer – and skin cancer would be far less of a problem.

Grocery stores would mount handy SPF-30 wipe dispensers at exits so patrons could cover up for the parking lot walk. Everyone would stash sunscreen in their car’s console for slathering arms and hands before a drive. Restaurants’ outdoor patios would nestle packets of sunblock towelettes among the sugar and Splenda.

As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Tiffany Brazeal would love that. She regularly instructs her patients on sun-savvy ways to protect themselves from ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB), the leading cause of skin cancers. She practices her preaching, too. When going jogging from her Edmond home, a hefty pump bottle of SPF-30 sunscreen and her hat are positioned at the exit door. She slathers some on and she’s off.

“It’s just convenient,” she said. “If it’s convenient, people tend to do it more, including myself.”

Working from the Saints Dermatology Center of Excellence in north OKC, Brazeal diagnoses and treats the most common of all cancers: squamous cell, basal cell and melanoma skin cancers. Oklahoma ranks 38th among the states for incidences of melanoma – the most serious and deadly skin cancer – but 21st for deaths from the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

To protect yourself from skin-damaging UV exposure that accumulates over a lifetime, it’s best to never sunburn, stay in shade, particularly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and wear wide-brimmed hats and wraparound sunglasses that block UV radiation. You should also use a broad-spectrum sunscreen blocking UVA and UVB. SPF-30 is good, but you can go higher, Brazeal says. 

Tanning beds have contributed to a higher incidence of skin cancer at a younger age. Brazeal has treated teenagers and adults in their 20s who use the UV-generating lights. She tells them that self-tanning lotions and sprays are far safer alternatives. She also tries to appeal to their reason for tanning in the first place – vanity.

“That’s how I can relate to younger kids. If I sit there and say, ‘Don’t tan because you’re going to get skin cancer’ – right over their heads. If I say, ‘Don’t tan because you’re going to get wrinkles and liver spots,’ they’re like, ‘Oh, OK, I won’t, or maybe I’ll consider it.’”

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Under the Oklahoma Sun

If it’s summer in Oklahoma, most of us will relish our glorious outdoor time by the poolside every day, weekend after weekend at the lake or, for the most sun-shy, at least one grudging appearance at the family reunion. Even if it’s 108 degrees, that’s nothing a dump truck of bagged ice sliding into your pool can’t solve. We asked Dr. Brazeal for advice on typical Oklahoma scenarios in the sun.

Kids at Camp Whole-Lotta-Uvee. Sunburns may have been a rite of passage in your childhood, but don’t dare think of it as a “life-is-a-circle” repeat of what quaintly happens to us all. Sunburns are fire-red warnings of a huge overdose of skin-damaging UV. This harmful exposure accumulates over a lifetime to up your chances of skin cancer, age spots and wrinkles. Dr. Brazeal’s remedies: Soak in cool water. Employ over-the-counter hydrocortisone and anti-inflammatory ibuprofen. Aquaphor or Vaseline cool skin, but aloe vera can cause rashes in some.

The “base tan.” Are you thinking of a protective base tan before your Key West vacation? Or are you thinking of a quick wrinkle-inducing UV bath so you can go without sunscreen (perhaps the better to impress a flirtation in a more UV-intense latitude?) Either way, it’s not worth it. Dr. Brazeal says studies show that a “base tan” might give you protection of SPF 4 or less. “That may equate to just a few more minutes in the sun, when really it’s not worth the damage you’ve done to your skin to get that base tan.”

The farmer tan. An Oklahoma classic. Red neck (purely in the medical sense here), burned ears, a V-neck chest tattoo gloriously haloed by pasty white skin. Don’t forget those brown arms with a bonus: a skin-only white T-shirt when it’s getting hot in here! Dr. Brazeal says men are more likely to skip sun protection, but cumulative effects matter. Skin cancers on those “farmer” spots are far more likely. If you don’t like “oily” lotions, try sprays and dry-feel products. For men especially, remember your forehead and/or hair-challenged scalp areas.

Athletes’ heat. Whether it’s golfing, tennis, dirt biking or brisk walking, sunscreen is as important as your putter, racket and other sports equipment. Cover any exposed skin. With sportswear, tight-weave clothing blocks more UV rays. If you can see through a shirt held up to light, UV exploits those gaps. Check out sports stores for clothing specifically designed for UV protection.

Blanket sun advice. Apply sunscreen before you leave the house. Reapply often. After that, reapply. Then repeat. It’s one of the most commonly forgotten protections. Do it as a no-brainer, or read the label for how often it should be done. Another recurring mystery question is how much to apply. Some advise a dose the size of your palm. What the heck does that mean? Dr. Brazeal recommends imagining your palm with a golf ball of sunscreen in it for typical body coverage. Or go for a spray, but shoot for even skin coverage with either.

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Calendar

May 2019

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

Start your Sunday morning by perfecting your practice during our outdoor yoga class. Enjoy the beauty of yoga outdoors in the glow of the Ferris Wheel lights! This class welcomes all levels, from...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wheeler Ferris Wheel
1701 S. Western Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »

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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

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MILLER IN MAY HOME TOUR HIGHLIGHTS CHARACTER AND CHARM The 20th anniversary of Miller's beloved home tour Miller Neighborhood's most popular event is back for 2019… and...

Cost: $10 - $30

Where:
Miller Neighborhood
NW 10th to NW 16th, N Villa to N May
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Miller Neighborhood Association
Telephone: 405.642.5982
Contact Name: Elizabeth Beard

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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the...

Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73119
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

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OKC's premier chamber orchestra, the Oklahoma Virtuosi, presents their season finale concert.  Concert will include: St. Paul's Suite Op.29 No.2 by Gustav Holst,...

Cost: Free

Where:
21C Hotel
900 W. Main St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Website »

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As the first anniversary of her sixth album Conversation With A Ghost approaches in June, Italian-born and Austin-based singer-songwriter Giulia Millanta possesses a...

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: The Blue Door
Telephone: (405) 524-0738
Website »

More information

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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Piedmont Airlines will be hosting a Information Session for ramp agent jobs at Embassy Suites in OKC. Please plan to spend up to 3 hours with us, as we will have you fill out applications, listen...

Cost: Free

Where:
Embassy Suites
1815 South Meridian Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73108
View map »


Sponsor: Piedmont Airlines
Telephone: 704-359-2477
Contact Name: Nick Calo
Website »

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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

Watch happy hour turn to golden hour while we fill the air with live music. For 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings, we invite OKC to come out after work to enjoy a variety of food, views,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Chisholm Creek
1316 W Memorial Rd
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: OkSessions.com
Contact Name: James
Website »

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Show More...
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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

A nationally touring exhibit “Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild.” will open May 24 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. This exhibit explores the significance of...

Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

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More than 90 visual artists will line the streets of the Historic Paseo Arts District, selling original artwork in a wide variety of media, from painting and photography to wood and jewelry, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Paseo Arts District
3022 Paseo
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Paseo Arts Association
Telephone: 405-525-2688
Contact Name: Paige Powell
Website »

More information

Enjoy all your favorite activities at the Orr Family Farm for a special price! Admission is only $8 per person on this day only.

Where:
Orr Family Farm
14400 S. Western Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73170
View map »


Telephone: 405.509.9312
Contact Name: Lauren Daughety

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

A nationally touring exhibit “Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild.” will open May 24 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. This exhibit explores the significance of...

Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Save $5 on a Dual Park Pass this Memorial Day Weekend! Get a full day of fun at Andy Alligator’s Fun Park and Water Park for only $29.99. A Dual Park Pass includes Unlimited Rides &...

Cost: Save $5 on a Dual Park Pass!

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Place
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the...

Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73119
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

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