Sunscreen and the Skin Cancer Connection

by , under Contemporary Cancer Topics, Skin Cancer

This video examines the connection between melanoma and sunscreens.  In addition, environmental toxins, UV-A and UV-B, and a plethora of other related issues are discussed by this expert from UC-San Diego, Edward Gorham, PhD.

In summary, they found that melanoma is correlated with higher latitudes, indoor workers, and more affluent countries.  Pigmentation is a protective factor, and people who have the ability to tan are at a lower risk of melanoma.  Melanoma incidence is increasing the fastest of all the cancers.

UVA and UVB are the two types of ultraviolet radiation that come from the sun.  UVA comprises about 99% of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and UVB is around 1%.  UVA is the part of the UV spectrum that is responsible for causing melanomas in humans.  UVB is the portion of the UV spectrum that stimulates production of Vitamin D in humans.  Vitamin D has been shown to powerfully inhibit the growth of tumors cells and malignant melanomas in vitro, and also in a number of human studies.  The interesting fact about sunscreens is that they block the UVB fraction of the UV light, and allow the UVA to pass through to the skin.  So the sunscreen chemicals appear to be blocking the most beneficial fraction (UVB) of the UV rays, while allowing the UVA fraction that causes melanoma to penetrate the skin.

Some studies have shown that sun exposure is associated with statistically significant increased survival rates in people with melanoma.  In fact, the studies show that there is a 60% increase in survival in patients with melanoma as compared to controls when they have elevated sun exposure.  The researcher said that the people using sunscreens (i.e., the fair-skinned people) are precisely the people that should not be using it!  Sunscreens inhibit the normal human protective response to sunlight.  UVA has been shown to induce melanomas, cause cancer in humans, and it may be the main carcinogen that causes melanoma.

The complete video is below.  It is approximately 45 minutes, so be sure that you have the time to view it if you’re going to start watching it.

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