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Why Does The Sun Cause Skin Cancer

What Else Should I Know

Does The Sun Cause Skin Cancer

The intensity of the sun’s rays depends upon the time of year, as well as the altitude and latitude of your location. UV rays are strongest during summer. If you travel to a foreign country during its summer season, pack or buy the strongest sun protection you can find.

Extra protection is also a must near the equator, where the sun is strongest, and at high altitudes, where the air and cloud cover are thinner. Even during winter months, if your family goes skiing in the mountains, be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen UV rays reflect off both snow and water, increasing the risk of sunburn.

And be a good role model by always using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, and limiting your time in the sun. You’ll reduce your risk of sun damage and teach your kids good sun sense.

How Can I Protect Myself From Skin Cancer

Have your doctor check your skin if you are concerned about a change.Your doctor may take a sample of your skin to check for cancer cells.

Ask your doctor about your risk of skin cancer:

  • Some skin conditions and certain medicines may make your skin more sensitive to damage from the sun.
  • Medicines or medical conditions that suppress the immune system may make you more likely to develop skin cancer.
  • Having scars or skin ulcers increases your risk.
  • Exposure to a high level of arsenic increases your risk.

Stay out of the sun as much as you can. Whenever possible, avoid exposure to the sun from10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you work or play outside, then

  • Try to wear long sleeves, long pants, and a hat that shades your face, ears, and neck with a brim all around.
  • Use sunscreen with a label that says it is broad spectrum or is at least SPF 15 and can filter both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear sunglasses that filter UV to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes.
  • If you are concerned about having a low level of vitamin D from not being in the sun, talk with your doctor about supplements.

Dont use tanning beds, tanning booths, or sunlamps.

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If You Have One Of The Two Types Of Non

  • A sore that crusts, bleeds, or oozes without scabbing over and healing for a period of several weeks
  • One patch of skin appears tight and shiny like a scar
  • A red, raised patch with or without itching
  • A dip in the skin with a raised border
  • A shiny, pearl-like bump

The terms basal cell and squamous cell refer to the layer of the skin where a doctor diagnoses a carcinoma, which means the skin contains cancer cells. Basal cell skin cancer means that cancer is present in the skins epidermis. Squamous cell skin cancer resides in the skins subcutaneous layer.

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Is The Sun Really The Cause Of Skin Cancer

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Every Spring there is a barrage of articles regarding the risk of skin cancer being caused by too much exposure to the sun. The same articles also sing the praises of sunscreen as a deterrent while offering no evidence whatsoever. But is the sun really the primary culprit? Whats really going on here?

Have you ever looked at the nasty toxic ingredients inside most sunscreens? The irony is that we are using a toxic skin product to protect our skin that is cancerous because of toxicity. Organic alternatives exist that are much healthier. Skin cancer is an inside job primarily, not an outside job . The whole system/body supports cancer, not just the skin. When we look deeper and we ask if we have good health practices and good emotional health, what is the honest answer?

The key point here is that cancer is really an inside job. Another key point is that the constitutional health of the whole body supports the cancer. Thirdly, that there is frequently anemotional component to cancer.

With this correct understanding, its much easier to recognize that the sunscreen commercials are only a smokescreen for the true causes of skin cancer. The skin is one of the major detoxification organs of the body along with the liver and GI tract. When the liver becomes overloaded with toxins, they are sometimes excreted through the skin. A congested liver and/or toxic colon will always put more of a burden on the skin to slough off more waste products than its fair share.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Body From The Sun

Can Pigmentation Signal about Skin Cancer?

Sunscreen guidelines announced in 2019 advise applying sunscreen every morning when the UV level is three or higher. The UV scale runs from zero to 11+. To monitor UV levels where you are, check the Bureau of Meteorologys website,, or download the bureaus SunSmart app.

“UV levels are the only indicator that is accurate for when sun protection is needed,” says Paige Preston, of Cancer Council Australia, adding that, all too often, people incorrectly determine their sunscreen habits based on what they see and feel cloud levels, how hot it is. UV rays are invisible and are often high even when it is cloudy, grey and only moderately warm. “A combination of the cloudy, overcast days and the temperature lulls people into a false sense of security,” says Preston.

Avoid sun exposure in the middle of the day, from 10am to 3pm, when UV levels are at their highest.

Reapply sunscreen after you become wet and otherwise every two or three hours, regardless of where you are, to cover you for incidental sun exposure.

A word on sunglasses, too. Whiteman says our eyes can suffer sun damage from UV rays. In fact, BCCs can flourish on the eyelids, he says, particularly in the inner corners. Our eyes’lenses can be damaged by sunlight and some melanomas can arise in the retina . People should buy Australian sunglasses, says Whiteman, as they must meet strict Australian guidelines, as opposed to sunglasses sold at markets, which could be sourced from anywhere.

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How To Spot Skin Cancer

For melanoma skin cancer, any change to your skin can be a concern and people are advised to regularly check their entire body for new or changed moles. The commonly used guidelines include looking for the ABCD signs:

  • Asymmetry two halves of the mole differ in shape
  • Borders edges may be irregular or blurred, sometimes show notches
  • Colour may be uneven, different shades of black, brown and pink
  • Diameter most melanomas are at least 6mm across

The more common non-melanoma skin cancer is not connected to moles and is often less dangerous than melanoma. Nevertheless, people should look out for non-melanoma skin cancer signs:

  • Scab/sore that wont heal
  • Scaly/crusty patch pf skin that is red/inflamed
  • Flesh coloured lump that wont go away and grows
  • Volcano like growth with rim and crater

To find out more about the symptoms and how to spot skin cancer, go to the NHS website.

Sun Exposure: Cancer Cause Or Part Of The Solution

Many studies have suggested that regular sun exposure isnt actually as harmful as we once thought. While high-intensity sunlight should be avoided when possible, some studies have found the opposite. In fact, outdoor workers have been found to report lower rates of melanoma than indoor workers . Melanoma rates are also higher among those who live in Northern American cities with less year-round UV light than residents who live in sunnier cities .

Could this have something to do with the cancer-protective effects of vitamin D? Science says yes. Three separate studies have found that higher vitamin D levels for those who receive regular sunlight exposure may play a role in reduced melanoma risk .

If only 10% of all cancer cases are attributed to all forms of radiation , it draws a clear path as to why we should stop blaming the sun for all our skin cancer problems. Skin cancer can be caused by pesticide and/or herbicide exposure, heavy metal exposure, household chemical use, and of course chemical products we directly apply to our skin.

Most of us have been slathered with sunscreen since the day we were born. Our skin has become so resistant to sun exposure that it has no idea what to do, except burn, when we venture out into the great outdoors. Those who spend a larger portion of their time in the sun build a natural resistance to dealing with harmful UV rays. In a sense, building up your exposure to sun allows your skin to adapt and build a natural immunity.

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Sun Exposure Induces Genetic Mutations In The Skin

Research indicates that sun exposure causes a type of mutation known as p53 in skin cancers at a higher frequency compared to other types of cancer. The p53 genetic mutation has been shown to arise in lab studies as early as one week within chronic sun exposure and reaches its maximum at four to eight weeks of exposure. Another genetic mutation known as patched has been found on the skin of sun-exposed areas of the skin as well.

What Changes In The Skin Occur Due To Exposure To The Sun


Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces. People think a glowing complexion means good health, but skin color obtained from being in the sun can actually speed up the effects of aging and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.

Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily in addition to taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you’re young, it will definitely show later in life. The sun can also cause issues for your eyes, eyelids, and the skin around the eyes.

Changes in the skin related to sun exposure:

  • Precancerous and cancerous skin lesions caused by loss of the skin’s immune function.
  • Benign tumors.
  • Fine and coarse wrinkles.
  • Freckles discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation and sallowness, yellow discoloration of the skin.
  • Telangiectasias, the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin.
  • Elastosis, the destruction of the elastic tissue causing lines and wrinkles.

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Is Sun Exposure The Only Cause Of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most common and treatable forms of cancer when caught in the early stages. Any person can develop skin cancer, but the cause depends on the type of cancer diagnosed as well as the persons skin type. People with lighter colored hair, eyes, and skin have a greater risk of developing skin cancer because their body contains less melanin that protects them from sun damage. Continuous exposure to the sun without the protection of sunscreen, hats, lightweight long-sleeved clothing, and other barriers increase the risk of developing skin cancer as well.

Although long-term, unprotected sun exposure is a leading cause of skin cancer, its not the only cause. It depends largely on whether a doctor diagnoses a non-melanoma or melanoma type of skin cancer.

Does Sunscreen Cause Cancer

I dont know about you, but I read every ingredient on every product Im about to put on my skin. After all, our skin is the largest organ in our body, and science has long shown that what we put on our skin ends up in our bodies and quickly at that.

Many studies have demonstrated the effects of different sunscreens and how quickly the ingredients penetrate and absorb into the skin after application. One study, conducted in my home town at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, sought to develop a method for quantifying common sunscreen agents. Results revealed significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin, meaning that all of these chemicals are entering our bloodstream, and as a result, entering multiple organs and cells within the body .

So, the next question becomes, are these ingredients that are entering our bloodstream particularly harmful? While much of the corporately-funded science that profits off the sales of sunscreen products says no, much of the unbiased research says yes.

The Food and Drug Administration hasnt reviewed the safety of these chemicals since the late 1970s. However, the Danish EPA concluded that after a careful review of the safety of active ingredients in sunscreen, most ingredients lacked information to ensure their safety . Sixteen of the 19 ingredients studied had no information about their potential to cause cancer.


According to the Environmental Working Group :


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What Does The Sun Do To Your Skin To Cause Cancer

In Australia, one person is diagnosed with the skin cancer every half an hour. Additionally, two out of three Australians can expect to be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. Yet we remain complacent about what damage the sun does to our skin, and how to protect it.

Paige Preston, chair of Cancer Council Australias skin cancer committee reveals that people often just look at sunny days and temperature to determine their behaviours,. Actually, its the UV levels, these invisible parts of sunlight that we cant see or feel, so theres a bit of disconnect there.

So why is the sun so dangerous?

The sun emits energy in the form of solar radiation that travels to Earth. Most of these are absorbed by the atmosphere except for the radiation that is not. These rays can be both be nourishing and damaging to your skin. Proteins in our skin convert the radiation into vitamin D3, essential for bone and heart health, but these rays also cause sunburn.

Ultraviolet rays are responsible for the skin damage. UVA , can penetrate deep into the skin. It is responsible to for causing melasma, wrinkles, and leatheriness from depleted collagen. This kind of genetic damage can lead to skin cancer. UVB , penetrates the most upper layer of our skin and is primarily responsible for sunburn and most skin cancers.

How does this cause skin cancer?

What can you do to protect your body from the sun?

How Does The Sun And Uv Cause Cancer

UV Radiation and Skin Cancer  Mission to Mars
  • Too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun can damage DNA in your skin cells and cause skin cancer.
  • In the UK almost 9 in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented by staying safe in the sun and avoiding sunbeds.
  • Getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer, compared to never being burnt.

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Why Does Uv Radiation From The Sun Cause Skin Cancer

What is the specific mechanism makes non-ionizing UVA and UVB radiation carcinogenic? Can lower energy light, like visible light, be carcinogenic because of this mechanism, or is there some kind of threshold within spectrum at which electromagnetic radiation does not induce cancer in humans?

Ionizing radiation can be mutagenic, which can cause cancer. However, this only applies to high-energy electromagnetic radiation with photon energies exceeding about 5 eV, or about 248 nm. These photon energies correspond to UVC, which is blocked thoroughly by the atmosphere, meaning Sunlight does not appreciably contribute to the ionizing radiation we receive on Earth. Therefore, the mechanism with which solar UV radiation induces cancer must be different from higher energy electromagnetic radiation, right?

  • 1 Nilay GhoshApr 2 ’21 at 5:46
  • $\begingroup$It’s not an answer which is acceptable on this site, but the best explanation of the electromagnetic spectrum I’ve ever seen is ElectroBoom on YouTube. This is in relation to 5G but explains why radio is safe and why UV-C isn’t:$\endgroup$

Rather than ‘breaks’ caused by high energy radiation, UV radiation causes chemical modifications of the bases that make up DNA. There are four bases in the DNA alphabet abbreviated to A,T,G or C belonging to two classes. A & G are guanines while T & C are pyrimidines.

The elevated states of compounds are stronger acids and reductants than the ground states.

Does Sunscreen Cause Cancer The Trouble With Ingredients In Sunscreen

Apr 30, 2019Carly FraserSave For Later

Using sunscreen to protect our skin has been a concept thrown at us for decades. But have you ever asked the question does sunscreen cause cancer? Why is it that with the rise of sunscreen use, melanoma cases sky-rocketed? Is it because our ozone layer is getting weaker, or because the chemicals in sunscreen are reacting with the sun and putting us at danger of DNA mutation?

While many of us have these questions, some people dont even think twice. They lather on the 100+ SPF morning and afternoon without even taking a look at the ingredient list. With that being said, I cant blame people for not thinking to do so. Were not really taught as a society to think or question the chemical ingredient lists in our personal care products, let alone on the lists of the food we eat.

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Increased Rate Of Aging Of The Skin

Repeated exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation eventually causes skin damage similar to the aging process. Patches of skin become thin and less elastic, and develop blemishes, sun freckles, and wrinkles. These changes may take many years of exposure but when they occur, the damage is irreversible.

What Is Ultraviolet Radiation

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Energy from the sun reaches the earth as visible, infrared, and ultraviolet rays.

  • Ultraviolet A is made up of wavelengths 320 to 400 nm in length.

  • Ultraviolet B wavelengths are 280 to 320 nm.

  • Ultraviolet C wavelengths are 100 to 280 nm.

Only UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays reach the earth’s surface. The earth’s atmosphere absorbs UVC wavelengths.

  • UVB rays cause a much greater risk of skin cancer than UVA.

  • But UVA rays cause aging, wrinkling, and loss of elasticity.

  • UVA also increases the damaging effects of UVB, including skin cancer and cataracts.

In most cases, ultraviolet rays react with melanin. This is the first defense against the sun. Thats because melanin absorbs the dangerous UV rays that can do serious skin damage. A sunburn develops when the amount of UV damage exceeds the protection that the skin’s melanin can provide. A suntan represents the skin’s response to injury from the sun. A small amount of sun exposure is healthy and pleasurable. But too much can be dangerous. Measures should be taken to prevent overexposure to sunlight. These preventive measures can reduce the risks of cancers, premature aging of the skin, the development of cataracts, and other harmful effects.

#TomorrowsDiscoveries: Protecting Against UV Radiation Anna Chien, M.D.

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