By Lydia Bogar

Yes, it’s that time again, BOLLI friends – sunscreen!  Good sunscreen of the right strength prescribed by your doctor. If you have been leaving it off your daily ablutions during the winter months, now is the time to check the dates on the bottles or cans in your bathroom cabinet, car, and purse. You should have one available at all times, especially when traveling with grandkids!

Feel the Burn? That’s Called Skin Cancer.

Yup, the sunshine warming your face as you drive down the Turnpike is full of ultraviolet radiation which causes serious damage to your skin, even if you aren’t blonde. Until a dozen years ago, medical experts did not differentiate between Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B, but we now know that UVB is blocked by the glass and windshield in your car and that the persistent UVA is responsible for over 90% of skin cancers in America. “The increase in left-sided skin cancers may be from the UV exposure we get when driving a car. It is likely that the older women in our study were primarily passengers rather than drivers, and therefore did not show a [significant] left-sided predominance,” explained Dr. Butler, of the California Skin Institute in San Mateo.  Over 70% of all melanomas in situ (non-invasive, early detection that have not spread to lymph nodes and other organs) are found on the left side of your face and neck. And yes, there is such a thing as Stage zero Melanoma.

Don’t Let Cancer Get Under Your Skin.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 96,500 new melanomas will be diagnosed in 2019, and as many as 7,230 people are expected to die of melanoma this year.

Cancer. It’ll Grow on You.

BOLLI Matters’ Lydia Bogar

Our own “Renaissance Woman,” Lydia has done everything from teaching English to doing volunteer emergency service.  She says she “hails from Woosta– educated at BOLLI.”


  1. According to the Environmental Working Group, use ONLY sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

    The complex chemicals (often ending on -one and -ene) are CARCINOGENIC. They also kill coral.

    So, read the ingredients–it’s not the brand or label that makes the sunscreen healthy or carcinogenic–it’s the ingredients. Two are safe and good. That’s it.

  2. To those who have commented in person, this article was written because of the death of my youngest daughter six years ago from metastatic melanoma. She was 37 years old.

  3. After suffering close to 100 sunburns where I watched a layer of skin peel off, and the removal in later years of a dozen or so cancerous skin sites, I commend your writing this piece. Looking back the magnificent copper skin tone I achieved (which probably was a shade of singed pink) was not worth the risk and suffering, then and later. Thanks for the grown up advice.

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