Navigation Links
Redheads May Face Higher Risk of Melanoma, Even Without Sun Exposure
Date:10/31/2012

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- New research in mice suggests that redheaded people may be more susceptible to the dangerous type of skin cancer known as melanoma, even if they don't spend a lot of time in the sun.

The findings haven't been confirmed in humans. Still, researchers discovered that a genetic mutation that normally slightly boosts the risk of melanoma has a much greater effect in mice with reddish fur.

Should redheaded people panic or simply accept the higher risk?

Neither, said study author Dr. David Fisher, chief of the department of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "We don't believe that this exonerates the sun in any way. People should be absolutely careful about sun exposure."

Pigmentation -- the color of skin and hair -- probably evolved to protect animals from the damage of ultraviolet radiation from the sun, Fisher pointed out. Fairer pigments probably helped humans survive in higher and lower latitudes, where the threat of sun exposure isn't as high, he explained.

But now, people of different skin pigments are dispersed around the globe, and fairer-haired people live in places where they get lots of sun exposure.

In the new study, researchers tinkered with the genetic makeup of mice, giving them a mutant form of a gene that boosts the risk of melanoma. None of the mice were exposed to any ultraviolet radiation, to remove the effect of exposure. The researchers wanted to see if the added risk differed, depending solely on their fur color.

It did.

About 10 percent of mice without red fur developed melanoma, and it took months, Fisher said. By contrast, at least 50 percent of the red-furred mice with the genetic mutation developed the skin cancer, and it took much less time for that to happen.

In contrast, albino mice with the genetic mutation didn't develop melanoma at all, he said. That suggests that something about pigmentation -- the type that creates red fur in mice in particular -- makes mice more susceptible to melanoma if they have a certain kind of genetic makeup.

What's going on? Fisher speculated that the increased risk of melanoma -- in red-furred mice that had the genetic mutation but didn't get sun exposure -- is related to the way the body creates pigmentation. The process may boost the risk of cancer, he said.

If the research is confirmed in humans, it would suggest that "for people who are careful about sun exposure, careful about using sunscreen and so on, that may not be enough," he said. As a result, it's even more vital to pay attention to changes in your skin, he stressed.

Fabian Filipp, an assistant professor of systems biology and cancer metabolism at University of California, Merced, said the study results are "an important avenue" to finding new ways to treat and diagnose melanomas. Filipp agreed with Fisher about the message of the study: "people with red hair and fair skin color have to be doubly careful."

The study appeared online Oct. 31 in the journal Nature.

Experts note that results from animal research are not always replicated in humans.

More information

For more about melanoma and other skin cancers, try the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: David Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., chief, department of dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Fabian Filipp, Ph.D. M.Sc., assistant professor, systems biology and cancer metabolism, University of California, Merced; Oct. 31, 2012, Nature, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Higher-spending hospitals have fewer deaths for emergency patients
2. Taller, Heavier Women May Face Higher Ovarian Cancer Risk
3. Heart failure patients with diabetes may benefit from higher glucose levels
4. Cancer Care Costs Higher in U.S. Than Europe, But Survival Longer
5. Children Born to Obese Moms May Face Higher Autism Risk: Study
6. Could Menthol Cigarettes Pose Even Higher Stroke Risk?
7. Certain Birth Control Pills May Carry Higher Blood Clot Risk: FDA
8. Mental Illness Tied to Higher Rates of Physical Problems: Report
9. Overweight Pregnant Women at Higher Risk for Complications
10. Depression Linked to Higher Odds for Poor Leg Circulation
11. Joint-Replacement Failure Rate Higher for Smokers: Studies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Redheads May Face Higher Risk of Melanoma, Even Without Sun Exposure
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... As health professionals work to improve their approach to healthcare, there ... more than filling out a survey; in many cases health professionals and patients are ... care and research on the importance of active engagement with patients and members of ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Board of ... Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton will serve ... Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of President and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health ... technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing ... form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the ... a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel ... also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance ... care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive ... the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that its ... helping those with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia ... in Essex, England commented, "I ... experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous pain, with every ... recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this has and ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD Healthcare of ... Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. , have ... service that expedites and streamlines patient and provider access ... 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... used to measure lung function for a variety of ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... NEW YORK , Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the ... chains, has published the first annual edition of its Global CSR Risk ... 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly ... ... Performance Index ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: