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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 08-04-10, 05:43 PM   #1
zonatandem
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Tandeming, sunshine, carciinoma . . .

We've been tandeming since 1975 and over 3 decades of it was in sunny southern Arizona.
Stoker Kay developed a growth on her right (outside) calf and several months later, was persuaded to see a doctor.
Turns out it was a malignant skin cancer (carcinoma). She has always used lots of sunscreen (SPF 30).
Dermatologist did his surgical procedure (smelled like a BBQ!) and gave her two post treatment choices:
Stitch up the hole and be off the bike for 4 weeks . . .
or . . .
Let it heal naturally (taking about 6 weeks) but be able to continue riding.
"No stitches" was her immediate reply. Went riding again the next day. . . what a stoker!!!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-04-10, 07:12 PM   #2
TeamTi700
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Glad to hear that's all there was to it. We've been using the SPF 50 for several years now, and are considering the jump tp SPF80!
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Old 08-04-10, 07:55 PM   #3
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Aarghh! I hate cancers!!! Aarghh! My best wishes to Kay for speedy triumph. Carry on, TWOgether. From one survivor to another...
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Old 08-05-10, 06:57 AM   #4
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Glad to hear that's all there was to it. We've been using the SPF 50 for several years now, and are considering the jump tp SPF80!
From what I've heard, SPF30 is the most you ever need. You still need to re-apply, as its effect wears off. In principle SPF50 means you can stay in the sun 50 times as long as unprotected, as it allows 2% of the UV through. In practice, it allows 2% of the UV through, but it is either absorbed or worn off or worn out (photodegraded), so you still only get something like 2 hours before re-application.
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Old 08-05-10, 08:16 AM   #5
specbill
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Glad to hear that Kay is well and right back on the the Tandem.....we love the sun and riding and sometimes forget to protect ourselve...this is a good reminder to be religious with the sun-screen. Thanks Rudy.

Bill J.
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Old 08-05-10, 08:09 PM   #6
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Seems to me that responders have missed the point that Kay got skin cancer despite using SPF30 sunscreen faithfully. Gee, it didn't work... so let's everybody keep using more of it.

I think you people have been watching too much television.

The lesson I would draw from this anecdote is to try to cover up as much as possible and rest not thy faith in magic potions that promise what they cannot deliver except profits to the purveyors. Bet the dermatologist gave her the same advice. And things on your skin that don't heal, get them looked at before they get too big.
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Old 08-05-10, 10:06 PM   #7
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Minimize you exposure time. Ride early or late. Never between 10AM - 4PM.
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Old 08-06-10, 12:16 AM   #8
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Minimize you exposure time. Ride early or late. Never between 10AM - 4PM.
Ha ha. Easy for us to say up here in Oregon.The sun didn't even come out to play until mid-June this year, and now the smoke from the fires is obscuring it.

All kidding aside, conspiratemus1 has a good point. We should be covering up as much as possible and watch what ingredients are in your sunscreens.Some, like oxybenzone, are implicated in increasing cancer risk.
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Old 08-06-10, 07:32 AM   #9
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We feel like we know Ruddy and Kay and are glad that she is OK. The location of her lesion does not strike me as a highly sun exposed area. My ears, tights and arms, in that order, is where I would expect problems to develop.

All else being equal, the higher the SPF the better the protection. We hate sunscreen but we apply it to all the skin that we can not cover. We use long sleeves as much as possible. Under Armor has these shirts called "heat gear" that I wear in short hot rides instead of a cycling jersey and my wife wears all the time under her normal short sleeve jersey. These shirts only have an SPF30, I think, but they partially block all sun light and protect her skin, you do not need to re-apply anything, they fit snug, like a skin suit, and once you are moving they do not make you feel hot.

Disclaimer: My 19 year old daughter owns Under Armor stock
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Old 08-06-10, 02:01 PM   #10
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We are glad Kay can still ride too, what a stoker! I picked up a little cancer on my face, we have the same excess sun here in W CO, I'm convinced cover up first, sunscreen too. I really doubt if any of us put it on often enough.
R&J
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Old 08-06-10, 10:04 PM   #11
zonatandem
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While 'covering up as much as possible' sounds like a good idea in Hamilton, ONT (yes, we've ridden in Ontario many times!), the weather in Arizona is much different. Sun is stronger and shines only 364 days a year; 100+ degree temps (up to 100 days a year) are not conducive to covering up all the way! Being at higher altitude in Tucson (2,640 ft. elevation) than Ontario also makes a huge difference. Currently been riding at 4,400' elevation while spending the summer in northern Utah . . . yeah but it's not a 100 degrees here (yet!).
Kay is rather fair-skinned and uses SPF 30 daily. Rudy is darker and only uses suncreen if he'll be riding over 3 hours.
Kay has ridden tandem for over 230,000 miles and 99% of that in sunshine; she has had 4 pre-cancerous showings that were removed. One on arm, one on ear, two on her face. Considering our ages (77/75) we've had a bit of exposure in our lives, so these are not a surprise. Without sunscreen she burns/turns red . . . so yes, SPF 30 does help.
Dermatologist recommended she keeps riding and . . . use SPF 30.
Thanks to all for your concern!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-12-10, 08:32 PM   #12
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Bless you both, and rapid healing to Kay. Hope Joy and I are still riding TWOgether in 17 yrs. As I calculate it, we only have 229,741 mi to go.
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