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Melanoma News And Update: Sunscreen With High SPF Can Lower Risk Of Melanoma By Over 30 Percent?

First Posted: Sep 16, 2016 05:20 AM EDT
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Some people think that it's okay not to wear any protection when wandering under the sun. Well, it's probably time to change your mind. A new study revealed that using high sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen can decrease the risk of melanoma by 33 percent, compared to using low factor sunscreen.

Although using sunscreen does not necessarily guarantee protection, the study revealed that sunscreen users reported more sunburn, more sunbathing vacations and use of sunbeds than those who never used sunscreen. As a result, non-sunscreen users had a lower risk of developing melanoma than those who used sunscreen with low SPF.

The study by researchers at the Department of Biostatistics with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo found that sunscreen with decent SPF can lower down the risk of melanoma by more than 30 percent compared with low-factor sunscreen, reported Medical Xpress. Experts described melanoma as a cancer with the strongest increase in incidence in the last decade, with the highest incidence rate in 2014. Now there are about 2,000 new cases of melanoma each year in Norway.

According to ZME Science, sunscreen users usually stay under the sun much longer than those who don't use sunscreen. This simply means that comparing these two groups of people is not appropriate because they don't spend equal amounts of time under the sun.

"The explanation for this paradox is that some people use sunscreen to prolong sun exposure and acquire suntan. Moreover, many people don't apply the proper amount of sunscreen, forget to reapply and missed to apply on all exposed areas resulting in sunburn and increased risk of melanoma," said Reza Ghiasvand, a PhD candidate at The Department of Biostatistics and a member of the research group "Epidemiological Studies of Lifestyle and Chronic Diseases."

"We found that those who used sunscreen with a factor higher than 15 had a 33% lower risk of melanoma compared with those using sunscreen with a low factor," she added.

Meanwhile, the study consists of 140,000 Norwegian women which were followed for an average od 10 years. Science Daily also reported that research team used data from the NOWAC study together with data from the Cancer Registry of Norway.

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