Navigation Links
Daily Sunscreen Use Does Protect from Melanoma, Study Finds

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Applying sunscreen every day to the head, neck, arms and hands reduced the chances of getting melanoma by half, a new study has found.

Researchers in Australia divided more than 1,600 white adults ages 25 to 75 into two groups. One group was told to apply skin cancer daily to the head, neck, hands and arms for five years between 1992 and 1996. The other group was told to use sunscreen only as often as they wished.

Researchers then kept up with the participants for the next 10 years using annual or twice-yearly questionnaires.

During that period, 11 people who used sunscreen daily were diagnosed with melanoma compared to 22 people in the "discretionary" use group, though the result was of "borderline statistical significance," according to the study.

Sunscreen also seemed to protect from invasive melanomas, which are harder to cure than superficial melanomas because they have already spread to deeper layers of the skin.

Only three people in the daily sunscreen group developed one of these invasive melanomas compared to 11 in the discretionary sunscreen group, a 73 percent difference.

"We have known for along time that sunscreen prevents squamous and basal cell carcinomas but the data on melanoma has been a little bit confusing," said Dr. Howard Kaufman, director of the Rush University Cancer Center in Chicago and a melanoma expert who was not involved with the research. "This is a well-controlled study that took into account variables such as how much time people spent in the sun. From the data, it appears wearing sunscreen does reduce the risk of melanoma."

Participants were also given 30 mg of either the nutrient beta carotene, which has been reputed to help protect from skin cancer, or a placebo. However, the study found beta carotene had no effect.

The findings are published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Journal of Oncology. Some funding was provided by L'Oreal, which makes products that include sunscreen.

Melanoma accounts for only about 5 percent of skin cancers but it causes most skin-cancer deaths, according to background information in the study. In the United States, nearly 69,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma annually and 8,600 die.

Dermatologists have long recommended sunscreen to prevent sunburn as well as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, which are more common types of skin cancer than melanoma, Kaufman said.

Prior research has also shown that exposure to ultraviolet rays is strongly linked to melanoma. Yet most studies on the effect of sunscreen for melanoma prevention have had problems with methodology or have been inconclusive, according to the study authors.

In the new study, participants were asked to fill out annual or twice-yearly questionnaires that asked about their time spent outdoors, their sunscreen use and previous history of skin cancer.

While no one study can offer definitive proof of a benefit, Dr. Adele Green, lead study author and acting director and professor of epidemiology at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, said the findings do offer compelling evidence that people should wear sunscreen to ward off melanoma.

"When people are fair-skinned and are exposed to intense sunlight in summer or holidays in sunny places, it is important for adults to use sunscreen regularly along with other standard sun protection measures like avoiding midday sun and use of protective clothing," Greene said.

Participants who were in the daily sunscreen group were more likely to continue to use sunscreen regularly than those in the discretionary group during the 10 years after the trial ended.

During the trial, researchers provided them with a broad-spectrum SPF 16 sunscreen. Those in the daily sunscreen group were less likely develop a melanoma anywhere on their bodies, not just their head and arms.

According to the study, people in the daily sunscreen group may have been more likely to apply sunscreen to their legs, torso and elsewhere.

And like other health behaviors, it's never too late to make a positive change, Kaufman said. Even those who were 60 and older who began using sunscreen daily were less likely to develop a melanoma, he noted.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on melanoma.

SOURCES: Adele Green, M.D., acting director and professor, epidemiology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Queensland, Australia; Howard Kaufman, M.D., director, Rush University Cancer Center, Chicago; Journal of Oncology, Dec. 6, 2010

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Daily Pill Lowers Odds for Infection With HIV
2. New study suggests most preschool-age children exceed daily screen time recommendations
3. 2010 AAO-HNSF new research daily highlights: Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010
4. Sri Lankan children affected by war, tsunami, daily stressors
5. Online coverage of XVIII International AIDS Conference to include daily webcasts, live coverage, podcasts and news recaps
6. Almost three quarters of women with rheumatoid arthritis worldwide suffer pain daily
7. First-time parents daily sleep duration predicts their relationship satisfaction
8. Experts Advise At-Risk Diabetics to Begin Daily Aspirin Later
9. Emdat Launches DaRT Solution That Allows Physicians to Use EMRs with No Changes to Daily Workload
10. Explosion on Gulf Coast Oil Rig Underscores Daily Dangers for Maritime Workers, Say Houston Maritime Injury Lawyers Arnold & Itkin LLP
11. Good Bye, Snake Oil! Grab your Orange Juice and Daily Virus Viper™ to Safeguard Against Micro-nutrient Deficiencies
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Daily Sunscreen Use Does Protect from Melanoma, Study Finds
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice ... The company is offering customers 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. ... at full price. According to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... of the well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official ... independent group of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the largest, most successful and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They ... involvement with various organizations, and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also ... buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to ... Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their ... surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for ... excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have served all of these ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- 3D bioprinting market is expected to ... report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic ... transplantation is expected to boost the market growth, as 3D ... --> 3D bioprinting market is expected to ... report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds "Global Repaglinide ... "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide Market, ... forecasts data and information to its ... . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: