About 3.5 million people experience skin cancer each year. A great number of other individuals will develop melanoma skin cancer, which is the deadliest type of skin cancer to affect patients. Although artificial UV rays from tanning beds and other sunning equipment can create cancerous cells in the skin, the majority of skin cancer cases develop from the harsh UV rays of the sun.
Even if you stay indoors, you're still at risk for skin cancer—unless you place the right UV-protectant windows on your home. Here's what you should know about UV rays, UV glass and how you can protect your family from skin cancer.
Why Is Melanoma Skin Cancer So Deadly?
Doctors treat two types of skin cancers: non-melanoma and melanoma. Non-melanoma cancers only affect the cells in the top layer of your skin, while melanoma cancers form in the second and third layers of your skin. Melanoma cancers account for almost 80,000 new cancer cases and 10,000 deaths in the United States each year.
Ultraviolet or UV rays come from the light of the sun, or man can create the rays artificially with high-wattage light bulbs. But no matter how they're made, UVA and UVB rays can damage your skin cells. UVA and UVB are the main types of UV rays known today.
What Are UVA and UVB Rays?
Although UVB rays cause the most cases of non-melanoma skin cancers because they only penetrate the top layer's cells. These UV rays also tend to be more common in people who develop skin cancer.
However, UVA rays travel further into the skin and cause the most cases of melanoma cancers. UVA rays emit a strong radiation that changes the growth rate, appearance and color of your skin's melanin cells. Melanin describes DNA cells that give your skin, eyes and hair strands their natural pigments and colors. UVA radiation can permanently change the DNA of these cells, as well as create drastic changes in other body areas once they spread to them. This makes UVA radiation more dangerous than UVB radiation.
Although scientists and medical doctors develop new skin cancer treatments every day, you can take steps to protect your family from melanoma cancer by changing the glass in your home's windows.
Why Isn't Your Current Windows' Glass Enough?
If you think that UV rays can't pass through your regular windows' glass, you're wrong. Glass that doesn't contain UV protectors only block out some of the sun's UVB rays and almost very little of the sun's UVA rays. Window glass that contains a special low-E coating can block out up to 74 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
A low-E coating reflects sunlight and energy back outdoors. By doing so, the majority of harmful UV rays can travel into your home and damage your skin cells. A window replacement specialist such as Central Glass can remove your old windows' glass panels and install panes made with a low-E coating. In addition, the specialist can place the panels inside strong, wood or metal frames that seal out heat during the summer months.
Tips for You to Consider
Once you schedule your appointment to replace the windows in your living room, kitchen and bedrooms, ask your contractor to inspect the glass in your basement and attic. UV rays can enter these rooms until they build up excessive heat in the home. The heat may increase your energy and cooling bills during the summer.
Also, place UV-protectant blinds on your new windows to reinforce the UV-blocking power of your low-E glass panes. Your window contractor may have or sell different types of window treatments to help you protect your home and family's skin.
Does your heating bill send you into a state of shock? If so, now is the time for you to begin making changes to your home to bring the cost of heating your home down. In years past, my heating bill was actually more than my mortgage was. It really made getting through the winter difficult for my family. I decided to do something about the high bills. I started with insulation, then invested in some new windows, and I also changed the way that we used our utilities. You can learn everything that I did to reduce my heating bill so that you can cut your heating bill as well.