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Sunburn and Risk of Skin Cancer

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A recent study, published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, outlines a number of findings significant to any individual conscious about the health of their skin. The study was composed of over 100,000 Caucasian nurses and collected information regarding their skin health over a period of 20 years. The article suggests that persons contracting five or more cases of serious sunburn in their teenage life are over twice as likely to experience potentially life threatening skin cancers than those who have not. Respondents of the study having five or more cases of sunburn blistering were found to have a 68 percent increased risk of contracting basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Furthermore, these same respondents were seen to have an 80% increased risk of melanoma. The same report also emphasised connections between cases of skin cancer and exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

This research is yet another argument emphasising the dangers of excessive exposure to artificial and natural light, and the increased dangers these pose for younger persons. While the results of the study show slight variance in the impact of artificial and natural light upon the contraction of skin cancers, the message is clear. In excess, both these forms of light can pose substantial danger to a person's health.

Australia's geography and the lifestyle of many of our citizens means Australians are more like to contract skin cancer than citizens of many other nations. Statistics kept by the Skin Care Foundation suggest more than 8,000 people die from skin cancer, annually. Medical science is not the only way of reducing this number- the most important thing is being proactive. Cancer is curable if it is caught in its early stages, and grows increasingly dangerous the longer it is left undetected. The responsibility here is of the patient. For persons living in countries or with conditions that increase their risk of skin cancer, it is vital to routinely monitor skin for potentially life threatening changes.

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