rates of melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer —
have doubled in the last 30 years, but finally there’s some
good news to report.
have discovered that using sunscreen may prevent skin cancer
by 80 percent. While it has long been known that sunscreens
are an effective guard against sunburns, their ability to
protect against melanoma has previously been unknown.
from Ohio State University tested the application of a variety
of sunscreens with SPF 30 on mice before exposing them to UVB
light. The mice were genetically engineered to have skin that
closely resembles humans.
results? All of the sunscreens with SPF 30 reduced the risk of
melanoma by 80 percent.
all worked," lead researcher Christian Burd said in a
news release. "Now, for the first time, we have a
mechanism to say, ‘yes, this sunscreen can protect against
melanoma.’ and we hope that we can now use that information
to develop better, smarter sunscreens."
study, while promising, does have some limitations. It was
conducted on animals and it used only UVB light — not the
entire UV spectrum emitted through sunlight. In addition, the
mice were exposed to a short burst of UVB light — the same
exposure level as spending a week of concentrated time in the
presented their findings recently at the American Association
for Cancer Research Annual Meeting.