Friday, April 27, 2012

Worship Your Skin, Not the Sun

Salt Lake City – This year, more than 600 Utahns – or approximately 12 people every week - will develop skin cancer. As summer approaches, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) and Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) are reminding Utahns to be safe in the sun by covering up, seeking shade, and avoiding the sun during the hottest time of day.
Utah has the second highest rate of melanoma skin cancer in the country (28.1 per 100,000). People who live in areas with high elevation, warm climates, and where sunlight can be reflected by sand, water, snow, and ice have a greater chance of developing melanoma, the deadliest of all skin cancers.
“The risk of melanoma also increases by overexposure to the sun and the use of indoor tanning beds,” said Teresa Garrett, Division Director, UDOH Disease Control and Prevention. “There are simple ways to protect yourself and your children from skin cancer, like wearing sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, wearing a wide brim hat, sunglasses, long shorts or pants and shirts with sleeves, and finding shade when you spend time outdoors,” Garrett said.
The UDOH Utah Cancer Control Program (UCCP) will soon be running ads encouraging sun safety in local movie theaters. The program is also partnering with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, Basin Recreation in Summit County, and pro soccer player Chris Wingert, to raise awareness of sun safety. With funding from the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Wingert will talk about sun protection with youth soccer players, their parents, and coaches.
“Over the past couple of years I’ve thought a lot about how unaware most children are of the damage that the sun can cause,” said Wingert. “I love the sun as much as anyone, so I’m hopeful that by getting involved in a program like this, I can help others become aware of the dangers while still being able to enjoy the outdoors.”
For more information on skin cancer prevention and education, visit

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Utahns with Arthritis: Move More to Feel Better

(Salt Lake City) – In 2009, one in every three (34.8%) Utah adults with arthritis were obese. That’s a 16% increase, up from 29.9% in 2003. According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity prevalence nationwide is 54% higher among adults with arthritis compared to those without arthritis.

“This is an ongoing concern for us,” said Rebecca Castleton, Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Arthritis Program Coordinator. “Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in Utah and physical activity is an essential way to manage symptoms and maintain a healthy weight.”

Although exercise and lifestyle self-management are key to reducing the health impact of arthritis, losing weight can be a complex battle due to joint pain and stiffness that can limit physical activity.

“People with arthritis may have a more difficult time losing weight and exercising, but those are the two best things they can do to improve their symptoms,” said Castleton.

Simple walking can reduce pain, improve function, and promote weight loss. A loss of just 10-12 pounds can make a big difference in quality of life and postpone further disability. Combined, they can reduce the number of knee replacements and help people with arthritis live longer.

For more information, or to learn more about exercise and other arthritis classes in your area, visit or call 801-538-9458. Or contact the Arthritis Foundation at 1-800-444-4993 or