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Is Melanoma Caused By Sun Exposure

High Sun Protection Factor

Preventing Melanoma and Sun Exposure

The intervention that has attracted most media attention is the recommendation to use sunscreen with a high SPF. However, studies that are not randomised and double-blind have a risk of selection bias. There has been only one randomised clinical interventional trial on whether sunscreen can protect against skin cancer . This was an open study in which half the participants were given free SPF 16 sunscreen along with instructions to apply it to the head, neck, arms and hands every day, while the other half received no specific intervention and presumably continued as before. Half of the participants were also independently randomised to take beta-carotene or placebo. The study tested the effect on keratinocyte carcinomas only, and the results showed that neither sunscreen nor beta-carotene had any effect on these cancers . However, a follow-up study was subsequently conducted that also included malignant melanoma, and this study found an almost significant reduction of malignant melanoma in the sunscreen group . A new endpoint was thus added after the study had been completed, which is not good practice. No change in melanoma-related mortality was detected, but the follow-up time was too short to see any long-term effects.

Three Forms Of Skin Cancer

Along with lung cancer, whose primary cause is the use of tobacco products, skin cancer may the most preventable form of cancer afflicting man. Its main cause is over-exposure or unprotected exposure to the sun. There are three types of skin cancer and all of them are highly preventable and, if detected early, highly curable. The three forms of skin cancer are: basal-cell carcinoma; squamous-cell carcinoma; melanoma. Basal-cell carcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin

High Rates In The Antipodes

So it is perhaps unsurprising that;skin cancer rates;are highest in Australia and New Zealand countries that are close to the hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic, where UV radiation is not filtered in the same way as other regions. That said, the higher rates observed here are also thought to be due to their latitude, improved screening for skin cancer, and migration of non-native people with fairer skin to this area.

Despite the high incidence of skin cancer recorded across the world, these are still likely to be underestimates, particularly for non-melanoma skin cancer . Non-melanoma skin cancer represents a particular challenge for estimating incidence and survival: it is often not tracked by cancer registries, or registrations of this cancer are often incomplete because most cases are successfully treated via surgery or ablation.

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How Can I Reduce The Chances Of Developing Skin Cancer

The best way to reduce the chances of developing skin cancer is awareness and proper sun protection.;

Ensure that you always put sunscreen on and dont sit or lay in the sun for long periods especially during peak hours. Its also best to avoid visiting tanning salons, which can damage your skin and may cause skin cancer in the long run.

People with moles should consider making a mole map. That way, they can keep an eye on their moles and watch for any unusual changes in shape, size, or color.

For more information about how to identify a melanoma, read our blog here.;

Dr Diane Godar Furnishes This Exceptionally Important Melanoma Information:

Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer. 8 sun exposure consequences ...
  • The same as in the US, while sun exposure in Europe has profoundly decreased, there has been a spectacular increase in the disease.
  • Men who work outdoors have about half the risk as men who work indoors. Hence, sun exposure could not be the cause.
  • in addition, outdoor workers, while receiving 3-9 times the sun exposure as indoor workers, have had no increase in melanoma since before 1940, whereas the incidence in indoor workers has increased steadily and exponentially.
  • Especially relevant is that sunscreen invention, along with its steadily increasing use, has not reduced the risk of melanoma. Rather, the disease has increased as sunscreen use has increased.
  • Increasing melanoma incidence significantly correlates with decreasing personal annual sunlight exposure.
  • Also, outdoor workers get many sunburns but still have dramatically lower risk of contracting the disease.

So, since melanoma increases as sun exposure decreases, should we continue to blame the sun?

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What Causes Melanoma Study Ranks States By Melanoma Rates Caused By Uv Exposure

As often as were told to avoid the sun to prevent melanoma, its still startling to see just how much sunlight is to blame for the deadliest form of skin cancer.

About 91% of melanoma cases diagnosed in the U.S. between 2011 and 2015 can be attributed to ultraviolet radiation exposure, with that number rising to 94% when it comes to non-Hispanic whites, according to a study published Monday in International Journal of Cancer.

The paper identified several states with the highest rates of melanoma, including Hawaii and Utah, where the strength the suns rays combined with an inviting environment for outdoor activities created a particularly high skin cancer risk.

But most Americans still dont realize how much the sun contributes to melanoma, said Dr. Farhad Islami, the studys lead author and scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society.

The incidence of melanoma is increasing, and thats true for other skin cancers, so probably many people dont know this correlation, Islami told TODAY.

I was surprised that the incidence rate of UV-related melanoma was high in all states, even in Alaska or in the northern states thats important to know.

The Risks The Causes What You Can Do

Skin cancers like melanoma have damaged DNA in skin cells that lead to uncontrolled growth of these cells. Ultraviolet rays;from the sun or tanning beds damage DNA in your skin cells. Your immune system repairs some of this damage but not all. Over time, the remaining DNA damage can lead to mutations that cause skin cancer. Many other factors also play a role in increasing the risk for melanoma, including genetics , skin type or color, hair color, freckling and number of moles on the body.

Understanding what causes melanoma and whether youre at high risk of developing the disease can help you prevent it or detect it early when it is easiest to treat and cure.

These factors increase your melanoma risk:

  • Many moles: The more moles you have on your body, the higher your risk for melanoma. Also, having large moles , or any atypical moles, increases the risk for melanoma.
  • Fair skin:;Melanoma occurs more frequently in people with fair skin, light eyes and light or red hair.
  • Skin cancer history: People who have already had melanoma or nonmelanoma skin cancers run a greater risk of developing melanoma in the future.
  • Genetics:;Melanoma can run in families one in every 10 patients has a family member who also has had the disease.

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Who Is At Risk For Skin Cancer

Although anyone can get skin cancer, the risk is greatest in people who have fair or freckled skin that burns easily, light eyes and blond or red hair. Darker-skinned individuals are also susceptible to all types of skin cancer, although their risk is lower.

In addition to complexion, other risk factors include having a family history or personal history of skin cancer, having an outdoor job, and living in a sunny climate. A history of severe sunburns and an abundance of large and irregularly shaped moles are risk factors unique to melanoma.

Two Main Causes Of Skin Cancer

Sun Exposure and Melanoma

to have fun in the sun, but it is not always a good thing. Exposing your skin to too much sun can cause skin cancer. Skin Cancer is the most common type of cancer. It can occur anywhere on the body. Skin Cancer begins in the Epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. The outer layer is made up of squamous cells and basal cells, as seen in Figure 1. The main cause of skin cancer is your skin being overexposed to UV rays. There are two main types of UV rays that can cause skin cancer. They are

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Can You Say That Recently There Has Been Significant Advances In Skin Cancer Treatment

Absolutely! There have been significant advances in skin cancer treatments in the recent years.;

For advanced melanoma in particular, immunotherapy, more targeted therapy for specific genetic characteristics the melanoma may exhibit, injections, isolated limb perfusion for those affecting only an extremity and different combinations of each of these are all exciting areas of research contributing to the advancement of melanoma treatment.;;

How To Protect Those Hidden Areas

Over the past 30 years, the incidence of melanoma has greatly increased. According to Dr. Khetarpal, if youve had five or more sunburns in your lifetime, your risk for developing melanoma doubles. Your risk also doubles if youve had just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence.

Theres nothing you can do to protect yourself from melanoma that isnt related to UV radiation, says Dr. Khetarpal. But you can still do your best to protect some of those hidden areas that could potentially be exposed to it, like your scalp, eyes, palms, soles, genital area, and under nails. Heres how, according to our experts.

Dr. Rajput reiterates: Yes, fair-skinned folks are most at risk for skin cancer. But its still important for those with darker skin to take all the above precautions, too, since anyone can get melanoma.

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Cosmetics And Skin Care Products

Many cosmetic, skin care, and other personal care products have long lists of ingredients. Some of these ingredients may be harmful in large quantities.

For the most part, though, cosmetics and personal care products dont have high enough levels of certain toxic ingredients to cause cancer.

According to the ACS, there havent been enough long-term studies in humans to make claims about cancer risk. But, the health risks of long-term exposure to certain toxins cant be ruled out completely.

If you have concerns about a product youre using, check the ingredients and consult with a dermatologist.

How To Have Flawless Skin

Your Genes Determine How Much Sun Exposure Will Cause ...

up of melanin, the pigment responsible for your skins color. What causes dark spots anyway?Dark spots can appear for a number of reasons, here are some common ones:Sun ExposureA little sun a day is in fact good for the skin but extended periods of sunlight can do much harm. This is the most common cause of hyperpigmentation because melanin soaks up the suns uv ray energy. Sun damage may not even show until years after exposure!Injured or Acne prone skin.Conditions that compromise the

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Are There Different Types Of Radiation In Sunlight

Yes. The types of radiation include:

  • visible light, which gives us the colours we see
  • infrared radiation which gives us the warmth we feel
  • ultraviolet radiation

Except in extreme situations, neither visible light nor infrared radiation from sunlight causes health problems. However, ultraviolet radiation can cause harmful effects to the skin.

There are three basic types of ultraviolet radiation:

  • UVA

Table 1 summarizes the general features of each type.

Table 1 Types of Ultraviolet Radiation and Their Features
Ultraviolet Radiation Type
Ultraviolet A radiation UVA, long-wave UV) -not filtered out in the atmosphere -passes through glass -once considered harmless but now believed harmful over the long term -levels remain relatively constant throughout the day
Ultraviolet B radiation -some filtered out in the atmosphere by the ozone layer -does not pass through glass -causes sunburn, tanning, wrinkling, aging of the skin and skin cancer -highest intensity at noontime
-filtered out in the atmosphere by the ozone layer before reaching earth -major artificial sources are germicidal lamps -burns the skin and causes skin cancer

What You Can Do

Be on the lookout: If you have FAMMM or other hereditary risk factors, be sure to self-check more frequently and visit your dermatologist often for thorough professional skin exams.

Start early: Children in melanoma-prone families need special attention. Some doctors recommend skin checks at puberty and during adolescence.

The good news is that the survival rate for familial melanoma is even higher than that for non-familial melanomas most likely because these families are carefully watching and melanomas are usually found while the cancer is very early and more likely to be cured.

Protect against UV rays: You can reduce the melanoma risk posed by UV radiation by taking simple, smart protective measures. Safeguard your skin against the sun every day, even when its cloudy. Avoid indoor tanning entirely. Get more details here: Skin Cancer Prevention Guidelines.

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What Is The Uv Index

In order to address the growing concern by Canadians regarding changes in UVR resulting from ozone depletion, Environment Canada rates the UV intensity as UV Index on a scale of 0 to 11+ . It can go to the mid-teens at midday in the tropics. In Canada the UV Index is categorized into low , moderate , high , very high and extreme .

The human health effects and precautions relating to the UV Index are summarized in the following table.

Table 3
Very High
  • Extra precautions required – unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn quickly.
  • Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and take full precautions – seek shade, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
11+ Extreme
  • Values of 11 or more are very rare in Canada. However, the UV Index can reach 14 or more in the tropics and southern U.S.
  • Take full precautions. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn in minutes. Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • White sand and other bright surfaces reflect UV radiation and increase UV exposure.

Sun Protection Messages, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Global Solar UV Index: A Practical Guide. A joint recommendation of the World Health Organization, World Meteorological Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

Ways You Can Get Skin Cancer Besides Sunlight

Preventing Melanoma and Sun Exposure

The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read:;

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, at least three million people are being affected by non-melanoma types of skin cancer every year.

People are always warned that sun exposure causes skin cancer, and true, the sun is responsible for more skin cancer cases than anything else. However, the sun is not the only way to experience a problem.

Skin cancer has many causes and many types, and so there are a few things to keep in mind.;

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Sunscreen And Malignant Melanoma


Gunnar Hasle, PhD, is a specialist in infectious diseases. He runs a travel clinic in Oslo.

The author has completed the ICMJE form and declares no conflicts of interest.

Malignant melanoma is a serious and growing health problem. What do we know about it, and what do we only think we know?

Since the Cancer Registry of Norway was established in 1953, the incidence of malignant melanoma has increased eleven-fold and the mortality rate has increased five-fold . The increase in incidence can be attributed partly to overdiagnosis, but we have no good explanation for the large increase in mortality. There is an apparent consensus that sunlight is the main cause of malignant melanoma . However, malignant melanoma is no more common on those areas of the body that are most exposed to the sun than on areas that are usually covered by clothing . Exceptions are the rare lentigo maligna melanomas, which have a good prognosis , and desmoplastic melanomas , which, in common with the relatively harmless keratinocyte carcinomas, are seen only on skin that has sustained high levels of sun exposure. We have no evidence that people are becoming more sunburned now than in the past.

Figure 1 Figure 2

Why Can Skin Cancers Occur In Parts Of Your Body Not Exposed To The Sun

If sun exposure causes skin cancers, how is it that some skin cancers grow in body parts that never see the light of day?

Between the toes, on the soles of the feet, even around the genitals … skin cancers can appear on body parts that rarely or never see the sun. What’s going on?

It’s true the sun’s ultraviolet light has the power to damage our genes and this is far and away the major cause of skin cancers, says Cancer Council Australia CEO Professor Ian Olver.

But if there’s any downside to the success of skin cancer awareness campaigns, it’s perhaps the misperception that the sun is the only cause of skin cancer. It’s not.

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Here Are More Facts You Should Know About The Causes Of Melanoma:

  • First of all, people in the highest quintile of alcohol consumption have a 65% increase in risk.
  • Weekly meat consumption increases the risk of melanoma by 84% and daily fruit consumption reduces the risk by nearly 50%.
  • Furthermore, those with the highest levels of blood PCBs have 7-times the risk compared to those with the lowest levels.
  • Recent use of Viagra is associated with an 84% increase in risk, and long-term use of the drug is associated with a 92% risk increase.
  • Finally, there is a positive association between melanoma and obesity.

Furthermore, Dr. Adele Green found that the strongest risk factor for both limb and trunk melanoma was moles. The presence of more than 10 moles on the arm predicted a 42-times increased risk.

Therefore, please stop blaming the sun. Safely embrace the non-burning sun and reduce your risk of melanoma.


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