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Thu Nov 1, 2012, 03:51 PM

Redheads may be at higher risk of melanoma even without sun

A study on mice suggests that pheomelanin pigment, which gives rise to red hair, is itself a potential trigger for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times

October 31, 2012, 8:02 p.m.

Doctors have long urged people with red hair, fair skin and freckles to avoid the sun and its damaging ultraviolet rays. To venture outdoors without a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen was simply courting skin cancer, they cautioned.

Now, however, a study in mice suggests that those among us with ginger hair and fair complexions face an elevated risk of the disease even when covered up.

The study, published online Wednesday in the journal Nature, suggests that the same reddish-yellow pigment that gives rise to rusty locks and an inability to tan is itself a potential trigger in the development of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The findings appear to solve the riddle of why darker-skinned individuals have a significantly lower risk of melanoma than lighter-skinned people, even when the sun protection factor, or SPF, of dark skin is just two to four levels higher than that of light skin. It could also explain why red-haired individuals are more susceptible to melanoma than anyone else, even blonds.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-red-hair-melamona-20121101,0,3490662.story


What say you scientists on this ginger plague?

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Reply Redheads may be at higher risk of melanoma even without sun (Original post)
ellisonz Nov 2012 OP
virgogal Nov 2012 #1
Marrah_G Nov 2012 #2
no_hypocrisy Nov 2012 #3
littlemissmartypants Nov 2012 #4

Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 03:54 PM

1. 2 of my six offspring fall into that category. They are very,very careful.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 08:50 AM

2. I have never had a tan

I realized very early in life that I had two choices... Pale and lobster red. I chose the less painful of the two.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 08:51 AM

3. I visit my dermatologist twice a year,

down from four times a year. My first visit, she caught a Stage I melanoma which scared the shit out of me. I had follow-up surgery and have been given a clean bill of health. But she follows my moles carefully. I can't wait for her to excise anything that looks suspicious.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:21 PM

4. As a redhead myself with a mother and

grandmother, also redheads and a father with a history of multiple lesions of questionable etiology it would appear that this suggests my risk is magnified. I do not however, readily attribute causation based on solitary sources, ever. The dynamics in science and health are just not that clearly defined. Especially when it comes to cancer, in any form.

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