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SPF 30 Sunscreen Reduces Risk Of Melanoma, Scientists Confirm

Apr 19, 2016 04:15 AM EDT
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One of the most deadly type of cancer is melanoma or skin cancer. This type of skin cancer can be triggered by the ultraviolet rays from the sun. But researchers say we shouldn't undermine the power of sunscreen. A recent study revealed that genetically engineered mice protected by sunscreen was less likely to develop burns and melanoma.

Melanoma is one of the most deadly type of skin cancer. It is caused by cancer cells in the melanocytes - which are the pigment responsible for skin color, hair and our eyes. They usually take the form of a mole before developing into a full blown cancer.

The American Cancer Society said that based on their projection, about 10,000 people will die of melanoma this year.

Using a sunscreen with SPF 30 can protect your skin from sun burn and in a clinical study using genetically engineered mice, it was proven that it can lessen the effect of ultra violate rays (UVB) to the skin and prevent melanoma. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center  initiated a study to identify methods to prevent melanoma led by Christin Burd.

Their study was discussed during the recent American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). "Over the past 40 years, the melanoma incidence rate has consistently increased in the United States," Burd said in an interview.

They said sunscreens are known to prevent sunburns but there are no studies to prove if sunscreen with SPF 30 can actually prevent melanoma. Burd said sunscreens are produced as cosmetic and most of them are not allowed for animal testing.

Fox News reported that dermatologists have long been vouching for the efficacy of sunscreen, and today even scientists believe in how powerful it is.

That's why the decided to conduct a study on the link between sunscreen and melanoma."We have developed a mouse model that allows us to test the ability of a sunscreen to not only prevent burns but also to prevent melanoma...This is a remarkable accomplishment. We hope that this model will lead to breakthroughs in melanoma prevention." Burd said.

Burd further explained how they arrive with their data. First they applied a chemical to the mice called chemical 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4OHT) which can cause melanoma, to measure the rate of how fast melanoma can develop. After the data were gathered, they then tried to repeat the process but this time, they used sunscreen to protect the mice. She said they applied sunscreen with 30 SPF label to the genetically engineered mice before sun exposure or in this case, exposure to the chemical. They used different types of sunscreens and they come up with one result, that all of them delayed melanoma and reduced the emergence of tumor.

Although it is still difficult to identify the efficacy of different sunscreen SPFs, scientists confirm that sunscreen do delay skin cancer or melanoma in genetically engineered mice.

But this has to be confirmed if application to humans. The scientists who confirmed the study said that there are various factors which can result to a different reaction to humans. For example the rate and intensity of UVB is different from what they're using for testing as compared to the UV rays men are exposed to.

Nevertheless, it is enough reason to convince everyone who hasn't been wearing sunscreen; it's time to do so now. But wearing sunscreen doesn't mean we're invincible, a report says people should wear sunscreen if they cannot avoid sunlight from 11 am to 4 pm.

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