Sun exposure in childhood may lead to skin cancer later in life
All of us are aware of deadly skin cancer. But, a new study has urged parents to shade their kids from harmful UV rays. The warning comes as a result of a study that has found strong evidence that overall sun exposure in childhood results in deadly skin cancer.
The news comes as the Food and Drug Administration department is finishing long-awaited rules to improve sunscreens. The department wants sunscreens to be rated for the protection they give against deeper-penetrating ultraviolet-A rays that are linked to cancer and wrinkles.
The department has warned parents to be aware of the weather forecast for the day’s UV index in their town, to learn when to stay indoors or in the shade. In doing this, parents can better shield their children against harmful UV rays of the sun.
Dr. Nancy Thomas, a dermatologist at the University of North Carolina who led the UV research, says that sunscreen is imperfect and skin cancer is on the rise, therefore one should schedule activities outside when UV irradiation is not quite so high because.
Melanoma, the most fatal skin cancer, has already affected almost 60,000 Americans this year, and killed some 8,100. Earlier studies found that it usually strikes in the 40s or 50s, but cases are on the rise among the younger people.
The study is being conducted on Americans and Australians. Scientists are working to find the interaction of genes and UV exposure in skin cancer patients. With the initial results suggesting that overall sun exposure in childhood results in deadly skin cancer. Therefore staying in the shade in early life. Though, the reason behind isn’t that clear yet, but scientists feel that young skin is more vulnerable to damaging UV rays, especially as moles are developing.
In adults over 50, another melanoma subtype, characterized by alteration in a gene called NRAS, is strongly linked to UV exposure. Scientists say that sunscreens have proved effective for mostly UVB rays that cause sunburns, not UVA rays, therefore adults who depend only on sunscreen to prevent skin cancer are under a false sense of security.
Until now, sunscreens made their way into the markets very easily, but now as per the soon-to-come FDA proposal, the sunscreens would be rate as per their SPF, or sun protection factor. That means sunscreens and lotions having both UVA and UVB protection would be allowed access to markets.
But, the best way is to protect sun as much as possible, be it during childhood or adulthood. Sun rays are harmful for both classes.