Breaking news: Some lip gloss may promote cancer

In light of increasing temperatures, and UV rays, I thought I'd imbue my two blog readers with some pearls I gleaned from an ABC story this morning, which starts off with a beautiful image: "Spring is here, legs have been reacquainted with the razor and women are buying lots of shimmery lip gloss on impulse." Ahh. Nothing like waking up to the image of women shaving their legs for what is implied as the first in a very long time.

It continues: "But have you heard the buzz that cheap, fun, non-SPF gloss can possibly increase your skin cancer risk?" No ma'am, I have not. Please, tell me more. How possible is this possibility?

"Here's the theory: ..."

Oooh. I love theories.

" ... Some dermatologists have said that the translucent sheen helps ultraviolet rays penetrate the already fragile skin of the lips - thereby increasing your risk.

My risk? Oh no!

"These dermatologists may be on to something, according to some of the top experts in the field."

How many is some?

Aina Hunter, ABC reporter, talks about some face and neck cancer specialist from Harvard who said that gloss on your lips is like baby oil on your legs. "You might be able to infer that they both enhance UV exposure."

I love inferences. This is really getting scary! What else? Who got cancer? Somebody famous who wears lip gloss a lot? Like Pamela Anderson?? Did Pamela Anderson get CANCER?!

"Here's the catch: There are no large, targeted studies proving or disproving this theory, which makes Fewkes, Cooper and the American Cancer Society reluctant to draw fixed conclusions."

They call this the information age, as noted last week in my column, "Born in the wrong era," and I think they call it that because of stories like this. Technically, this is information. It's useless information - no duh news, as I call it. But it's still out there. And I still came across it. On the Google News Web site!

Something I noticed: There are only seven published renditions of this story in Google News. Three are TV stations. One is a student newspaper. One is called InjuryBoard.com, one is NewsInferno.com, and the other is "Looking Good Feeling Great, UK," which apparently is a news source as well. Why haven't any real newspapers picked up on this story?

What we've got here is a case of non-news being reported as if it matters. But it really comes down to the issue of the reporter's quota. The boss needs one more story before allowing the reporter to go lay out in the sun and slurp down tubes of lip gloss this weekend.

So the point here is that you, reader, just wasted about two minutes of your life. (Average readers cover about 225 words per minute. Now there's some useful news!)

Also, it's going to be 72 today, 84 tomorrow and 86 Sunday, so lather up, Kingman.