Saturday, April 16, 2016

Gene May Raise Melanoma Risk, Even Without Sun Exposure

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is a tumor of melanin-forming cells. Melanin is a specific type of skin cell. There are various ways to get melanoma but too much sun exposure is usually the most common. There has been new research that shows that sunburn may not be only way to get it. The research shows that genetics may play a key role in the development of this cancer. Despite the research that has been coming out, experts say that people should still use proper caution while sunbathing. Too much sun is proven to cause melanoma. Neil Box, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus says that in order to prevent melanoma, none of the current recommendations should be changed. An expert dermatologist, Dr. Jeffrey Salomon who is a professor of surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, has said that genetics is a big factor of getting melanoma. BRAF gene mutations can be tied to 40 and 60 percent of all melanoma cases. There have been new medications that fight this cancer and the results have been showing to help significantly. Melanocortin-1 receptor, or MC1R, gene affects ones skin pigmentation. Dr. Wendt from the Medical University of Vienna has led new research on studying variations of this gene. Red haired people were said to be at the highest risk of getting melanoma due to this gene. The experiment included about one thousand people with melanoma and about 800 people who did not have melanoma. About 47 percent of the people with melanoma said they had 12 sunburns in their lifetimes, compared to 31 percent of people showing that too much sun was the cause. 41 percent of the people with melanoma also had at least two variations of the gene. After examining the results, questions are still raised whether or not people that have these gene variants have a higher risk of getting melanoma. Supposedly the results are not definite and do not prove anything.

The results of these tests are not 100 percent. There is not definite proof that shows that genetics is a huge cause of melanoma. I think that people should continue to use the proper precautions when enduring long sun exposure. It is known that the sun’s UV rays do cause melanoma. So in order to prevent it, sunscreen should always be worn when someone will be exposed to these harmful UV rays. I believe that researching should continue doing tests to see if genetics actually does determine ones risk of melanoma. However in the meantime everyone should be cautious when out in the sun.


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