Decreased UV Exposure in Children May Be behind Predicted Reduction in Deaths from Melanoma

“Death from melanoma over the next several decades should stabilize and then decline in light-skinned populations, according to study results.

“This reduction in melanoma mortality — which may be more apparent in younger generations — may be linked to UV exposure patterns, researchers wrote.

“ ‘Independent from screening or treatment, over next decades, death from melanoma is likely to become an increasingly rare event,’ Philippe Autier, MD, director of the International Prevention Research Center in Lyon, France, and colleagues wrote. ‘The temporary epidemic of fatal melanoma was most probably due to excess UV exposure of children that prevailed in 1900 to 1960, and mortality decreases would be due to progressive reductions in UV exposure of children over the last decades.’ ”

Melanoma Survivors Should Take Extra Measures to Protect Their Children from Sun

“A new study has found that children whose parents are melanoma survivors are not receiving the best possible protection from the sun and ultraviolet radiation.

“This lack of protection can lead to sunburn, increasing the risk of melanoma for the children, who already face a substantially higher risk of developing the skin cancer due to their family history.

“Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer as well as one of the most common. In the US, in 2014, it was estimated that 76,100 new melanomas would be diagnosed with around 9,710 people dying from the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma rates have been rising for the past 30 years.

“The authors of the study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, state that childhood is estimated to be one of the most critical exposure periods for conferring risk.”

'Feel-Good Hormones' Make Sun Exposure Addictive, Study Suggests

“When the sun is shining, many of us are unable to resist a trip to the beach to soak up the rays, despite recommendations that we should cover up to reduce the risk of skin cancer. And now, researchers have discovered why; ultraviolet radiation from the sun releases endorphins – “feel-good” hormones – that act like a drug, making exposure to sunlight addictive.”

New Clues to Skin Cancer Development Show Sunscreen is Not Enough

“Scientists have shown that sunscreen cannot be relied upon alone to prevent malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, according to research* published in Nature.

“The work supports the approach taken by public health campaigns that call for people to use a combination of shade and clothing to protect their skin, applying sunscreen to the areas you can’t cover.

“The research explains more about the mechanism by which UV light leads to melanoma and also explores the extent to which sunscreen is able to prevent UV light from damaging healthy cells.”

People of Color Need Sun Protection to Avoid Skin Cancer

“Although skin cancer is less prevalent among people of color than in whites, sun protection and other preventive measures are essential components of skin care in these populations, according to research published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.”