Sunburn Increases Melanoma/ Skin Cancers Risk

Sunburn Increases Melanoma/ Skin Cancers Risk

There are three types of skin cancer:


Melanoma is the most aggressive type of cancer of the three, and it kills nearly 8,000 Americans each year. That's nearly one person every hour. Melanoma is the most common cancer in white women, ages 25 to 29, and white men in Michigan, ages 25 to 44. But it is also one of the most curable if it's detected and treated early.Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, and although it occurs for several reasons, the most preventable cause is exposure to the sun. Tans and sunburns are signs that your skin is damaged. Learn the risks. Protect yourself.

Sunlight has several kinds of harmful rays, UVA, UVB, X-rays and cosmic rays. But the main effect at earth's surface is UVA and UVB. UVB rays cause sunburn skin cancer and photoaging of the skin (mottling, wrinkling). UVA is a cause of photoaging (sagging) and contributes to skin cancer risk.

As ozone levels are depleted, the atmosphere loses more and more of its protective filter function and more solar UV radiation reaches the Earth's surface. It is estimated that a 10 per cent decrease in ozone levels will result in an additional 300,000 non-melanoma and 4,500 melanoma skin cancer cases. The global incidence of melanoma continues to increase – however, the main factors that predispose to the development of melanoma seem to be connected with recreational exposure to the sun and a history of sunburn. These factors lie within each individual's own responsibility.

Except for those who tan easily, tanning should be vigorously discouraged especially in teenagers and young adults since it is exposure over time which is dangerous. The sunburn today may be associated with skin cancer in 20 years.

Marathon running has become increasingly popular in recent years, according to background information in the article. While regular exercise is associated with improved health, some evidence suggests that endurance exercise--including marathon running--may be linked to skin cancer and other severe illnesses.Fair-skinned people (especially redheads and blondes) because of their insufficiency of melanin (pigment substance that gives the skin its yellow-brown colour and filters out the ultraviolet rays of the sun)

Basal and squamous cell cancers typically occur on parts of the skin that receive the most exposure to sunlight - the face, head, necks, arms, and hands .Ordinary moles, or "nevi," typically appear as evenly colored (brown, black, tan), round "spots" on the skin. They can be present at birth, or they may appear at any time during a person's life, often after periods of sun exposure.

Sunburns in childhood are the most damaging. Children younger than 6 months of age should never be outside in direct sunshine. Children 6 months of age or older should wear sunscreen every day.It begins in skin cells called melanocytes (say: “mel-an-oh-sites”). Melanocytes produce the substance that gives your skin its color.Most other skin cancers don’t spread, but melanoma can spread through the whole body. If it is found early, it can be cured. If it is found late, it may cause death.

Those considered high-risk for melanoma--the most dangerous form of skin cancer--are no more likely to sunbathe protected than those who are unaware of their risk, according to a new study conducted by MUHC researchers.Sunscreen ratings are based on a product's ability to prevent sunburn, not long-term sun damage such as photodamage or skin cancer, but the spectrums of action for these delayed consequences of sun exposure and hence the protection factors are presumed to be similar to those for sunburn. The benefits of using a sunscreen with a high sun-protection factor for all these indications are now well documented,

Anyone who spends considerable time in the sun may develop skin cancer, especially if your skin isn't protected by sunscreen or clothing. Tanning also puts you at risk. A tan is your skin's injury response to excessive UV radiation.Having less pigment (melanin) in your skin provides less protection from damaging UV radiation. If you have blond or red hair, light-colored eyes, and you freckle or sunburn easily, you're much more likely to develop skin cancer than a person with darker features is.

In the US, the incidence of melanoma is rising more rapidly than any other cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 59,580 new melanomas were to be diagnosed in the United States in 2005, with 7,700 people will dying from it.Melanoma is most common in people over 40, and the incidence increases significantly as people get older. Before age 40, melanomas are slightly more common in women than men, but after age 40 men are more often affected. Men are also more likely to have invasive and fatal melanoma than are women, although some research suggests that the higher rates are only because men fail to seek a diagnosis of suspicious skin changes before they become dangerous.

he percentage of American adults who got sunburned increased from 31.8 percent to 33.7 percent from 1999 and 2004, a sign that many people aren't using proper sun protection, a new study found.

The study also found that significant portions of most racial and ethnic groups reported getting sunburned in the three years -- 1999, 2003, and 2004 -- when the data was collected through surveys.

The study authors noted that sunburn increases the risk of developing melanoma and basal cell carcinoma skin cancers.

Sunburn rates in 2004 were 46.9 percent for non-Hispanic white men; 39.6 percent for non-Hispanic white women; 12.4 percent for Hispanic black men; 9.5 percent for Hispanic black women; 16.2 percent for male Asians/Pacific Islanders; 16.1 percent for female Asians/Pacific Islanders; 30.4 percent for male American Indians/Alaska Natives; 21.5 percent for female American Indians/Alaska Natives; and 5.8 percent for male and female non-Hispanic blacks.

Overall, men were more likely to get sunburned (35.8 percent in 1999, 37 percent in both 2003 and 2004) than women (28 percent, 30.2 percent and 30.3 percent, respectively).

The highest rate of sunburn prevalence among whites in any of the three years was in Utah (51.3 percent in 2003), while the lowest was in Arizona (25.7 percent in 1999). Twenty states reported a statistically significant increase in sunburn rates among whites, while four states -- Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Louisiana -- reported a significant decrease.

The study findings are published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Sunburn can be prevented by following such sun-protection measures as wearing a hat; covering up while in the sun; avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; and using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

Applying sunscreen every day rather than only on sunny ones makes a big difference when it comes to fighting the first signs of skin cancer. A new study shows that daily use of sunscreen is much more effective than sporadic use in preventing precancerous skin growths called solar keratoses or SKs.

The skin lesions are the earliest forms of the most common types of skin cancer caused by sun exposure, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. People who have SKs are up to 12 times more likely to develop these forms of skin cancer than others.People who used sunscreen daily developed significantly fewer SKs than the occasional sunscreen users, and the protective effects of daily sunscreen use were especially strong in the first two and a half years of the study.

Several epidemiological studies support a positive association with history of sunburn, particularly sunburn at an early age.
The role of cumulative sun exposure in the development of malignant melanoma is equivocal. However, malignant melanoma risk is higher in people with a history of non-melanoma skin cancers and of solar keratoses, both of which are indicators of cumulative UV exposure.

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