Posted on 06-12-2014
WEARING SUNSCREEN MAY NOT PREVENT SKIN CANCER
According to healthfreedoms.org, wearing sun cream is not a reliable way to prevent getting skin cancer, scientists have warned.
A groundbreaking study into the way UV radiation attacks the skin has revealed that long-lasting damage is not stopped by sunscreen.
While an SPF cream can stop sunburn and the short-term effects of sunbathing, it allows enough rays through to cause potentially fatal disease in the long term.
Anyone who spends more than a short time in the sun should make sure they are covered up and should not rely on sunscreen alone, experts warned.
Scientists at Manchester University and London’s Institute of Cancer Research carried out the world’s first molecular study into the way malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is caused.
Their paper, published in the journal Nature, revealed that even highest grade SPF 50 suncream allows sufficient UV radiation through to damage the DNA in the skin’s pigment cells.
Dr Julie Sharp, of Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, said: ‘People tend to think they’re invincible once they’ve put it on and end up spending longer out in the sun, increasing their overall exposure to UV rays.
‘This research adds important evidence showing that sunscreen has a role, but that you shouldn’t just rely on this to protect your skin.’
Malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with more than 13,000 people diagnosed with the disease every year.
The scientists found that sunscreen could not stop solar radiation causing a mutation in the skin’s ‘guardian gene’ which produces proteins that protect against UV.
With the gene damaged, the skin is vulnerable to further damage from the sun and more likely to develop a tumour.
Study author Richard Marais, of Manchester University, said: ‘UV light targets the very genes protecting us from its own damaging effects, showing how dangerous this cancer-causing agent is.
‘Very importantly, this study provides proof that sunscreen does not offer complete protection from the damaging effects of UV light.’
BREAKTHROUGH STUDY REVEALS HOW RADIATION ATTACKS THE SKIN
The research team examined the molecular effects of UV light on the skin of 110 mice which had been genetically altered to be susceptible to melanoma.
They found that the use of SPF 50 sun cream would delay the formation of tumours, but could not stop it altogether.
Over a 15-month period they exposed the mice to weekly dose of UV radiation similar to that a person would be receive to if they spent an hour a week in a garden in southern England.
The mice which did not have any protection each developed tumours after an average of 5.3 months, and within seven months every single one had the cancer.
Another group of mice had their fur shaved and SPF50 sunscreen applied. These mice developed tumours after an average of 7.5 months, and each had grown melanoma within 15 months.
Professor Marais insisted people should continue to wear sunscreen, because while it does not provide complete protection, it can slow the cancer-causing effect of UV.
But he said nobody should rely on sunscreen alone to protect them from skin cancer.
He said: ‘This work highlights the importance of combining sunscreen with other strategies to protect our skin, including wearing hats and loose fitting clothing, and seeking shade when the sun is at its strongest.’
Professor Marais said the crucial finding is the impact of a ‘guardian gene’ called P53, which normally helps protect from the effects of damage caused by UV light.
He said: ‘We found that sunscreen does work by limiting the immediate effect of UV on the skin – it stops sunburn.
‘But sunscreen does not protect the skin completely – enough UV light sneaks past to cause long term damage to the DNA.
‘The important thing is the impact on the P53 gene, which is the guardian of the genome. Usually when you go out into the sun P53 activates the release of protein which protects against UV.
‘But solar radiation knocks out the guardian, it targets the very thing that defends the skin, and sunscreen cannot protect against that.’
The cosmetics industry insisted it had never claimed sun cream could stop cancer.
Dr Chris Flower, director general of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, said: ‘As cosmetic producers we never talk about cancer in relation to the product – we cannot talk about protecting against or stopping disease.
‘We never recommend that sun care products should be used to stay out in the sun longer, only as part of ‘sun safe’ behaviour, which includes staying out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, and covering up.
‘We can’t use the term ‘sunblock’ or anything that suggest there is 100 per cent protection. We can’t say total protection, the strongest term we can use is ‘very high’ protection.
‘The first line of defence is to avoid sun, the second is to cover up with a sunhat, T-shirt and trousers, and the third line of defence is to use a sunscreen.’
Folks, if you feel that tingling sensation in your skin when you are out in the sun or tanning for that matter…that is the time to cover up! That is when you burn. Make no mistake about it…skin cancer is real, but we simply MUST have exposure to the suns rays for Vitamin D3 which can significantly reduce your chances of other cancers. By blocking the sun with sunscreen you increase your risk of nearly all the other cancers and now with this study you are not totally protected from even skin cancer! So cover up, take a multivitamin (for anti-oxidants) that will counter the radiation from the sun's rays, and simply be smart about your exposure.
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