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:4/21/2017)... West Palm Beach, FL (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... The staff at ... FACS , will be taking part in the 2017 London Marathon. Set to take place ... variety of charitable organizations. This year, Dr. Schwartz will run as part of team EMPOWER, ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... , ... April 21, 2017 , ... Brady ... that its B-595 and B-7569 vinyl label materials received certification ... warning labels are tested to remain intact and legible, for use on chemical drums ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... , ... April 21, 2017 , ... The Patient Advocacy ... Health System, with the 2017 Ruth Ravich Patient Advocacy Award in recognition ... advocates. DeVaro was honored with the award at The Beryl Institute’s annual Patient ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... campaign, AWARE: A Week of Addiction and Recovery Education, from April 24 to ... and preventing substance use disorders. , The mission of AWARE is to ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Metrasens is honoured to have won ... most prestigious award for business success. The company has been recognized for ... grown by a total of 400% over the last six years. , Metrasens ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... DIEGO , April 19, 2017  Sorrento ... an antibody-centric, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments ... announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... stock at a public offering price of $2.00 ... and estimated offering expenses payable by Sorrento.  The ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... HANOVER, N.J. , April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... conducted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood ... (NIH) demonstrating that 58% of patients with treatment-naïve ... six months when treated with eltrombopag at the ... 1 . The study evaluated three sequential treatment ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Cogentix Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGNT), a global medical device ... markets with innovative and proprietary products, will release financial ... after the market close on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. ... call and webcast to discuss its financial results the ... p.m. Eastern Time (3:30 p.m. Central Time). Darin ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: