The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2014

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 10 of 103

H ere's another reason to be vigilant about preventing skin cancer: A major new study has found that people who have had nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC, skin cancer other than melanoma), especially before age 25, are at greater risk of developing mela- noma and other cancers later in life. Published in the March 2014 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the study found that NMSC survivors were 1.36 times more likely to develop 30 other types of cancer ranging from melanoma to breast, colon, and bladder cancers. The numbers were particularly startling for young people: those who had NMSC before age 25 were 23 times more likely to develop other cancers later in life. The fndings suggest that young people who have had nonmelanoma skin cancer would beneft from regular, comprehensive cancer screenings. To prevent future skin cancers, they should also scru- pulously protect themselves against UV exposure from the sun and from tanning beds. SUNBURN'S DOUBLE WHAMMY I t turns out that sunburn may do double damage: frst comes the burn, then comes infammation, and both parts of this equation may conspire to manufacture deadly melanomas. We have long known that sunburn greatly increases melanoma risk: sustaining just fve sunburns total (or one blistering sunburn in youth) more than doubles your lifetime chances of developing this cancer. Previous research has shown that the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays cause genetic damage to the DNA in the skin's pigment cells (melanocytes), where melanomas arise. Now, Ger- man research shows that sunburn may also damage surrounding tissues, producing infammation that can promote the spread of melanoma cells throughout the body. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from University Hospital and the LIMES Institute of the University of Bonn, Germany, performed studies on rodent models with melanoma, fnding that UV-induced infammation triggered melanoma cells to travel more easily along blood vessels to lung tissues. A subsequent study of human melanomas similarly found that the infammatory im- mune response following sunburns made it easier for mela- noma cells to migrate (metastasize) throughout the body. The researchers hope to develop targeted therapies that would interfere with the signals that cause infammation, thereby reducing the spread of melanoma cells. NONMELANOMA SKIN CANCER: GATEWAY TO OTHER CANCERS Sunburn greatly increases melanoma risk Skin Cancer World News Roundup Young people who develop nonmelanoma skin cancer are 23 times more likely to develop other cancers later in life. 9

Articles in this issue

view archives of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal - MAY 2014