How to Choose the Best Sunscreen – 3 Tips to Keep in Mind

Did you know that one in five Americans develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime? It’s no secret that using sunscreen is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself, but did you know that not all sunscreens are created equal? When faced with all the choices out there, it can be hard to tell which sunscreen is best for you.

First, remember that there are two types of UV rays: UVA rays and UVB rays. Both of these UV types have been attributed to skin cancer and not all sunscreens will protect you from both rays. UVB rays are commonly known to cause sunburns while UVA are known to be responsible for wrinkles.

Tip 1 – Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Many people tend to choose the sunscreen with the highest SPF number. However, SPF refers to the amount of protection the sunscreen offers from UVB rays, not UVA rays.

A common myth about SPF is that a factor of 30 is twice as strong as one of 15. While SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, SPF 30 filters out 97%, only a slight improvement.

Tip 2 – Broad-spectrum or Multi-spectrum sunscreen. These sunscreens block out harmful UVB rays as well as UVA rays. If the sunscreen bottle doesn’t specify, here’s a list of ingredients to look for that protect against both UVA and UVB rays:
• ecamsule
• avobenzone
• oxybenzone
• titanium dioxide
• sulisobenzone
• zinc oxide

Tip 3 – Water and Sweat Resistance. “Water resistant” sunscreens have an SPF level that stays effective after 40 minutes in the water. “Very water resistant” means it holds after 80 minutes of swimming.

It’s important to use sunscreen year-round, not just during summer. In general, sunscreens protect your skin for about 2 hours, so remember to reapply it throughout the day.

How do you practice sun safety? Let us know in the comments below!

To find out more about how to protect yourself from skin cancer, go to

What’s a Cancer Registrar & How are they Helping to Find a Cure?
Cancer Registrar Week

It’s National Cancer Registrar’s Week! Do you know what a cancer registrar is and why we should all take the time to honor them? Read on to find out why cancer registrars have one of the most important jobs in America.

We’ve all heard of cancer, and many of us have been touched by this nasty disease in one way or another. In fact, did you know cancer is the second leading cause of death among Americans? Fortunately, doctors, researchers, and public health officials are working to change this fact by improving cancer prevention and treatment, and ultimately finding a cure. The starting point for this important work is the cancer registrar.

Cancer registrars are healthcare professionals that collect, analyze, and report cancer data. Details on diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship are collected for every cancer patient in the U.S. (that’s a LOT of numbers!). Registrars work at hospitals, medical facilities, and central registries and the information they collect is reported to the state and federal government, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute.
Cancer is the only reportable chronic disease, allowing CDC to disseminate accurate national incidence data. By understanding the burden of cancer, public health organizations, including CDC, can create programs and interventions for prevention and early detection.
Celebrate National Cancer Registrar’s Week
Cancer registrars throughout the world are joining their colleagues, fellow medical professionals, and community leaders to observe the 18th annual National Cancer Registrars Week (NCRW), April 7-11, 2014. The purpose of NCRW is to emphasize the important role cancer registrars play in capturing the data that informs cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs.“Quality cancer data is central to the nation’s fight against cancer, and cancer registrars are the first link in capturing that data,” notes NCRA president Shirley Jordan Seay, PhD, CTR. “National Cancer Registrars Week provides an opportunity to acknowledge the pivotal role registrars play in creating the sound footing from which cancer care and treatment can advance.”This year’s theme — Steadfast in an Evolving Environment — was chosen to acknowledge how cancer registrars are committed to staying current in the rapidly changing worlds of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and management. Through continuing education, registrars ensure they are up-to-date on the medical and technological advances in order to provide the essential information needed by researchers, healthcare providers, and health officials to better monitor and improve cancer treatment, conduct research, and target cancer prevention and screening programs.
To learn about Cancer Registrars and other amazing staff at the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, go to
For more cancer related resources and information in Northern Nevada, go to
Share a message honoring cancer registrars in the comments section below.
3 Easy Ways to Grow a Garden in Northern Nevada

Physical activity and mental stimulation can be found as close as your own backyard. Think you can’t grow a garden in Northern Nevada, given our dry climate? Think again! Kim Mason, Registered Dietician at Carson Tahoe Health, explains the following easier-than-you-might-think options to grow a garden that lasts all year long!

Option 1 – Grow a “Container Garden”

You don’t need a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables. Many vegetables lend themselves well to container gardening. With some thought to selecting bush or dwarf varieties, almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a pot. even if you want your favorite full-size variety, if you give it a large enough pot and plenty of soil and water, it will grow just fine and reward you with plenty. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for container vegetable gardens.

What you can grow in a container vegetable garden is limited only by the size of the container and your imagination. How about a Summer Salad container? Plant a tomato, a cucumber and some parsley or chives all in a large (24-30″) container. They grow well together and have the same water and sun requirements. By late summer they might not be very pretty, but they’ll keep producing into the fall.

Since your vegetable plants will be making their containers home for the season, you want to start them off right. Make sure there is enough space for them to grow into and choose your soil and site with care. Here is advice for getting set up and started, followed by container growing tips for specific vegetables.

Selecting Containers
Containers for your vegetable gardens can be almost anything: flower pots, pails, buckets, wire baskets, bushel baskets, wooden boxes, nursery flats, window planters, washtubs, strawberry pots, plastic bags, large food cans, or any number of other things.

• Drainage: No matter what kind of container you choose for your vegetable garden, it should have holes at the base or in the bottom to permit drainage of excess water.

• Color Considerations: You should be careful when using dark colored containers because they absorb heat which could possibly damage the plant roots. If you do use dark colored pots, try painting them a lighter color or shading just the container, not the plants.

• Size: The size of the container is important. For larger vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants, you should use a five gallon container for each plant. You can grow these plants in two gallon containers, however you need to give the plants considerably more water.

Soil and Fertilizer
You can use soil in your container vegetable garden, but potting mixes are much better. Peat-based mixes, containing peat and vermiculite, are excellent. They are relatively sterile and pH adjusted. They also allow the plants to get enough air and water. Mixing in one part compost to two parts planting mix will improve fertility.

Using a slow release or complete organic fertilizer at planting will keep your vegetables fed for the whole growing season.

Pots and containers always require more frequent watering than plants in the ground. As the season progresses and your plants mature, their root system will expand and require even more water. Don’t wait until you see the plants wilting. Check your containers daily to judge the need for water.

Wind can be a real hazard for any container grown plant and tall vegetables, like tomatoes or trellised cucumber and squash, become top heavy as they produce fruits. Try to place your containers so that they are not in an overly windy location. A breeze will provide nice air circulation and help prevent fungal diseases, but a strong wind can topple plants and containers and can also shred leaves and dislodge fruits. If you are gardening on a raised deck or a roof top, it may be necessary to provide some type of wind block.

Option 2 – Use a “Hoop House”

A hoop house is an inexpensive greenhouse using a plastic roof over bent metal or PVC tubing. They’re really helpful for growing a garden in Northern Nevada, offering a controlled environment that can provide frost protection, wind protection, humidity control, and insect control. So, it actually extends your growing season!

You can either build your own hoop house, or you can buy one. Here’s a list of hoop house types and prices:

Learn how to build your own hoop house out of PVC by going to

Option 3 – Use a Greenhouse

Greenhouses tend to be the most expensive option, and is similar in many ways to gardening outside. The plants still need adequate nutrients and water, and protection from insect pests and diseases. You still must tie, prune, and tend to them.

But the greenhouse environment is also very different from that of a backyard garden. The very things that make greenhouse growing more controlled and convenient also make it more demanding. In a greenhouse, you control temperature, humidity, soil aeration, soil moisture and drainage, fertility levels, and light. This degree of environmental control gives you a tremendous amount of latitude as well as some new responsibilities. To learn how to get started with a greenhouse garden, click here.

To learn about the many benefits of gardening, click here.

What’s growing in your garden and do you have any tips for the Northern Nevada climate? Let us know in the comments below!


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