What is Skin Cancer?
Skin Cancer Skin cancer is the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells in a layer of the skin. It attacks one out of every seven Americans each year, making it the most prevalent form of cancer. However, ninety percent of all skin cancers can be cured if detected and treated in time. There are several different kinds of skin cancers, distinguished by the types of cells affected. The three most common forms of skin cancer are: Basal cell carcinoma – usually appears as raised,
NASA "Space Suits"
It was June of 1997 when we first met Bob Mumford. Mr. Mumford works for Hamilton Standard, the company that produces the space suits for NASA. We came to meet Mr. Mumford because his wife read an article in the Ladies Home Journal about XP and she suggested that he might be able to help in some way. We spoke about the possibility of developing a suit for XP patients that will allow safe, inconspicuous protection from UV. We were particularly interested in providing protectio
Introduction Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger Vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first occurs in the liver and converts Vitamin D to 25-hydroxyv
To Beta Carotene or Not To Beta Carotene
Should you or your child take beta carotene? If so, how much? Are there side effects? What are the potential benefits? If you or a member or your family has XP or a related disorder, these are questions worth considering. Systemic Photoprotection It's common knowledge that eating lots of yellow vegetables can turn one's skin a little yellow. About twenty years ago, it was reported that beta carotene, one of the substances that makes these vegetables yellow, offered a notable
DNA Repair Explained in Simple Terms
Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) and Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) are called DNA repair disorders. This means that your body has trouble fixing damaged DNA. In XP the damage is caused by UV light. There are a number of other DNA repair disorders. Cockayne syndrome is one. Lots of things can damage DNA: UV light, cigarette smoke, toxic fumes, etc., etc. When people talk about things that give you cancer, they are pretty much talking about things that damage your DNA. Here is some backg
A Visit to the Dentist
The phone rings, and the receptionist tell us Katie is on her way. Right away the staff goes into the routine of closing blinds, hanging sheets over some windows and doorways, and turning off lights. Katie arrives all wrapped up, wearing a full face visor, and is brought back to our dark operatory. Once unwrapped, there emerges Katie, sweet little girl that she has grown up to be, totally used to traveling in this fashion. A dental patient that needs to be treated like all ot
Medications that increase photosensitivity
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Applying a sunscreen may help protect against the sun's burning rays, but if you're taking a medication, you may need to take additional precautions, says a Purdue University pharmacy expert. Related Articles UV index Sunscreen Sunburn X-ray Pharmacology Ultraviolet Many widely used medications can cause an increased sensitivity to light in some individuals, resulting in hives, rashes, or other skin eruptions, says Gail Newton, associate professor of ph
Ultraviolet Radiation & Protection
Xeroderma pigmentosum presents many challenges for those who have the disease as well as those who care for them. There are a number of variations (i.e., complementation groups) of the disease itself, as well as a range of symptom manifestations among individuals within any group. Given the rarity of XP, it is understandable that much is not yet known about how to best provide protection. Of necessity, we resort to generalizations such as "avoid all sources of UV radiation."
Helpful Tips for the XP Patient
While total avoidance of ultraviolet light sources is the most important practice for the XP patient, the following tips gathered from XP families will help in other areas of day-to-day living. Please feel free to send us more so we will share them. As always, please check with your primary physician before attempting anything new relating to health. Xeroderma Pigmentosum is listed as a Disability with the US federal listing of disabilities at Social Services. Options are ope
Limited UV Exposure & Vitamin D
Intro: Civilization here on earth took off around 6,000 years ago. Where? Not in the arctic circle! Indeed, human societies tended to locate in warm regions when they enjoyed year round sunlight. Living outdoors for the most part is what we were designed to do. Living indoors year round is unnatural. Over the last few years we're finding that when something is manmade, when it's artificial, we seem to get into trouble. So it goes with staying out of the sun. Let;s talk about