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Our cause awareness blog provides knowledge and educational information to advocate for cancer, medical, social and psychological illnesses and/or causes. 

Filtering by Tag: july

Stay Out of the Sun Day

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Today is Stay Out of the Sun Day!

Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by for this week’s awareness blog entry! Today is a particularly relevant topic, especially considering the holiday tomorrow. I hope you’ve all enjoyed your week. I’m sure you’re all dying to get through the day so you can enjoy your mid week day off to celebrate the Fourth of July. I cannot wait! I think this year is gonna be the best Fourth of July yet, since I’ve got lots of secret things planned for a certain someone special’s 30th birthday. Can’t divulge more cause it’ll ruin the surprise, but I’ll fill you all in next week. Anyway, today’s post has a lot to do with tomorrow. Today is Stay Out of the Sun Day! Stay Out of the Sun Day is celebrated every year on July third, as a reminder to protect your self from the harmful effects of the sun. People tend to spend all day on the Fourth of July having fun outside barbequing, playing games, working on a base coat, and enjoying a few ice cold drinks. So, the day before the Fourth, remember to include sun protection in your plans for holiday celebrations.

So, the sun… It’s a great thing. Without the sun we wouldn’t even be here, so before I start bashing the sun for all it’s harmful effects, I just want to point out that I am generally in favor of its’ existence. I also realize that there are benefits to sun exposure, such as vitamin D and it certainly does do wonders for your mood if you suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). There are some undeniable draw backs to basking in the sun, too, though, and today were going to discuss that so that we know exactly what we need to protect ourselves from. Hint: it’s mainly skin related. But skin is important! It’s your body’s largest organ, and it keeps all your tissues and organs protected, so we really should do the best we can to protect it.

In many parts of the world, like the United States, we perceive a bronze glow as a signifier of health and youth. In reality, creating that tan and maintaining that tone is the opposite of healthy. Unprotected exposure to the sun, or even the use of tanning beds, is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Sun exposure causes skin cancer and premature again. In fact, most of what people consider to be the natural effects of aging on the skin are actually a result of sun exposure. This is because people are generally exposed to the sun consistently throughout their lives. The more time you’ve been exposed, the more you will develop those signs of age. They should really be considered signs of sun exposure rather than signs of aging, actually. Now, I’m in no way saying everyone should avoid the sun because it’ll make you look old. First off, you’ll eventually look old no matter what. Don’t think that you can ever completely avoid aging. Second, getting older is a wonderful thing and it shouldn’t be treated as some kind of dirty word or something to be afraid of. Enjoy your life! Just be smart about your sun exposure.

The sun emits ultraviolet rays, also referred to as UV rays. Ultraviolet rays slowly destroy elastin, which are little fibers found in the skin that are responsible for elasticity. As the elastin is damaged through exposure to UV rays, the fibers begin to break down and eventually, the skin will develop wrinkles and sag, while also causing the skin to become thinner. When the skin thins, it is easier for it to bruise and tear, and it also makes it more difficult for the skin to repair itself and heal from these bruises and tears. The damage done to your skin from sun exposure usually does not become apparent until many many, years later, so people sometimes don’t realize how harmful their sun exposure habits are until significant damage has already been done.

The most dangerous consequence of sun exposure is skin cancer. People tend to have a less concerned attitude towards skin cancer for some reason. It may be because they believe that they will see it before it develops into something life threatening, or because people think that if they do develop skin cancer you just have the dermatologist remove it and you’re cured. Neither of those things is exactly true. For starters, no person can be one hundred percent certain of everything going on with their skin. Usually, people only notice something after something has obviously changed, and there are plenty of places that we can’t see. As far as removal goes, yes you can have skin cancer removed, but it can spread and become much more serious before you realize it’s there. Not to mention that skin cancer removal leaves a sometimes nasty scar, and considering that skin cancer often occurs in the places that are exposed to the sun the most (for example the side of your face that the sun hits when you’re driving), that’s something that you might want to avoid.

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in America, but it’s also one of the easiest cancers to prevent with appropriate sun protection. Skin cancer occurs when abnormal skin cells begin growing at an out of control rate. These abnormal cells reproduce until they become a tumor. A tumor can either be cancerous, or non cancerous. Noncancerous tumors are called benign tumors, and cancerous tumors are called malignant tumors. There are three kinds of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

There is a list of criteria for helping people evaluate any changes on their skin to determine whether or not something may be melanoma. The trick to remembering the criteria is as simple as the first handful of letters of the alphabet. It’s called the ABCDE rule. The A in the ABCDE rule stands for asymmetry. This means that the growth is not symmetrical on both sides. If one half does not match the other, then it is asymmetrical. The B stands for borders. If the growth has irregular borders, meaning that the edges seem undefined, blurry, or not a smooth line, then you should get it looked at. The C stands for color. The color of melanoma may resemble something like the color of a mole, but it may also be many other colors, especially when the shades of color are uneven. If the growth is brown, black, tan, red, white or blue with some parts light or darker than the rest, you should get it checked out. The D stands for diameter. Anything larger than the size of a pencil eraser needs to be evaluated by a doctor, ASAP. Any mole that has suddenly changed shape or grown in circumference should be brought to your doctor’s attention. Lastly, the E stands for evolving. Any mole or growth that is changing needs to be looked at by a doctor. Those changes can be related to the color, size or shape of the mole or growth.

Skin cancer is generally diagnosed through a biopsy, which is when the doctor removes part of the growth and sends it to a lab to be analyzed for presence of cancer. If the biopsy comes back positive for cancer, aka malignant, then the doctor will develop a strategy for treating it. Skin cancer treatment is determined by a few factors, and treatment is personalized to meet the specific needs of that particular skin cancer. Depending on the type of skin cancer, there may be some fairly non-invasive treatment options. Aggressive skin cancers will require aggressive treatment.

Remember, it’s never too late to start protecting yourself from sun exposure. You may think that the damage is done, and that there’s no point in sunscreen or hats now, but you’re wrong. Even though skin can never completely recover from skin damage, continuous and vigilant sun protection measures can allow the skin to improve over time. There are all kinds of sunscreens now for whatever your particular needs may be. For example, I am acne prone with oily skin, despite being nearly 30, and regular sunscreen clogs my pores and makes me break out. That used to discourage me from wearing any sunscreen at all. Considering how fair I am, that was extra stupid. I recently found a sunscreen spray that I can spray over makeup, and it has totally changed the game for me. So, whatever your particular needs, don’t let anything stop you from continuing the search for one that works for you. You’ll thank yourself later!

That’s all, folks! Catch you next week!

If you’re a first time reader, let me welcome you to the Personalized Cause awareness blog! Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory brand located in California that specializes in custom awareness ribbons. Custom awareness ribbons allow customers the ability to engrave any text they choose onto the awareness ribbon they want. We are the only company in the United States to offer this kind of product to our customers without a minimum order quantity. That means you can order as few as just one custom awareness ribbon, if that’s all you want. Custom awareness ribbons are a beautiful and powerful way to support someone going through a health crisis, or someone on an ongoing health journey. Sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what to say to someone who is struggling. Our custom awareness ribbons are a silent show of love and support for those times. They are also a wonderful way to advocate for yourself or a loved one, or raise awareness for your cause. And if custom awareness ribbons aren’t really your thing, no worries! We also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric ribbons, and silicone wristbands. Whatever your awareness accessory needs are, we’ve got you covered. I hope you’ll join us next week for another edition of the Personalized Cause awareness blog!

Orange awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for non-melanoma skin cancer. Black awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for melanoma.

To order a custom orange awareness ribbon for non-melanoma skin cancer, visit:

To order a custom black awareness ribbon for melanoma, visit:

#stayoutofthesun #skincare #skincancer #immunesystem #uvprotection #sunscreen #shades #uvawareness #nosun #nosundaysunday #melanoma #ultravioletrays #awareness #awarenessblog #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

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Today is World Day against Trafficking in Persons!

"Human traffickers prey on the most desperate and vulnerable. To end this inhumane practice, we must do more to shield migrants and refugees - and particularly young people, women and children - from those who would exploit their yearnings for a better, safer and more dignified future." -Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. While it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, the estimate implies that currently, there are millions of trafficking in persons victims in the world.

Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. The link between the refugee and migration crisis and trafficking in persons was highlighted at this year's observance of the day by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime.

In 2013, the General Assembly held a high-level meeting to appraise the Global Plan of Action. Member States also adopted resolution A/RES/68/192 and designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. This resolution declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”

#endhumantrafficking #humantrafficking #modernslavery #slavery #abuse #humanrights #respect #redsandproject #endit #enditmovement

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

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It's Minority Mental Health Awareness Month!

Today's post is dedicated to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In the U.S., an estimated 18.2 million people claim full or partial Asian descent, according to government figures. This group of people is diverse, ranging from fifth-generation Japanese to newcomers from India.

Estimates vary, but one recent study found Asian-Americans face a 17.3% lifetime chance of getting a psychiatric disorder, including depression. Although that rate was lower than among other minorities, the study called mental health among Asian-Americans a growing public health concern, given the stigma around treatment and barriers to getting it. Asian Americans are less likely than whites to mention their mental health concerns.

Studies of Asian-American college students have found that they had higher rates of depression than white students, and they showed the most distress at the time they sought counseling compared to all racial groups.

The most high profile manifestation of these issues is suicides. According to CSU Fullerton Professor Eliza Noh, the second leading cause of death for Asian American women ages 15-24 is suicide, and Asian Americans have the highest female suicide rate among all racial groups.

Studies also show that Asian American college students were more likely than White American students to have had suicidal thoughts and to attempt suicide, as well as have greater rates of depression than white students. This alarming trend is also present in the high school population.

#minoritymentalhealthmonth #minoritymentalhealth #asian #asianamerican #modelminority #pacificislander #mentalhealth #mentalillness #depression #anxiety #suicide #stress #stigma #endstigma #socialjustice

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Personalized Cause


It's Minority Mental Health Awareness Month!

Today's post is dedicated to African American mental health.

Here are six facts about Black Mental Health:

  1. Black Americans are as likely to suffer from mental illness as whites. The APA reports 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. will suffer from some kind of mental disorder each year. And, African-Americans are at least as likely to suffer from a mental health issue as their white counterparts.

  2. Relatively high rates of poverty increase likelihood for mental health issues. Poverty disproportionately affects the black community, due in part to the legacy of slavery, segregation and racial discrimination in America. Poverty also affects mental health. Poverty increases the risk for mental health issues, which may then render an individual unable to work and afford basic needs, including treatment.

  3. Racism in care still exists. This is compounded by the fact that African-Americans make up less than 2% of APA members.

  4. Barriers in access to adequate health care make it harder to get help. Anticipation of encountering racism coupled with the challenges of paying for care may make the prospect of getting help daunting for black Americans. Racial disparities persist in health care access.

  5. Black Americans use prayer to cope with stress or mental illness. One study cited by the APA said that 85% of African-Americans would describe themselves as "religious," and that their most common way to handle stress is through prayer. For people without adequate access to adequate medical care, prayer may be a primary method of dealing with mental illness as well.

  6. Stigma in the community may discourage people from seeking treatment. First lady Michelle Obama addressed the need to reduce the stigma of getting professional help when needed. "There should be absolutely no stigma around mental health. None. Zero. ... Getting support and treatment isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength."

#blacklivesmatter #blackmentalhealth #minoritymentalhealthmonth #mentalhealth #mentalillness #depression #anxiety #bipolar #access #equality #prayer #socialjustice