This Simple Step Can Cut Skin Cancer Risk by 80 Percent

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Protect yourself!

Just one more reason to slather on sunscreen before stepping outside (as if you needed another): A new study from Ohio University Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that applying sunscreen with SPF 30 reduces the risk of melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — by 80 percent.

In the study, the researchers applied different sunscreens with SPF 30 on mice and then tested them out by exposing them to UVB rays — the ones behind painful sunburns. The researchers found that all of the SPF 30 sunscreens that were tested not only protected the mice from getting sunburned, which you might expect, but also from developing melanoma, according to Christin Burd, PhD, an assistant professor in Department of Molecular Genetics, and the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

Melanoma kills more than 10,000 people in the United States each year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Research shows that the overall lifetime risk of developing melanoma goes up to 80 percent after getting just five blistering sunburns in childhood. But it’s never too late to start protecting your skin from the sun. Along with applying a shot-glass worth (1 oz.) of broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 (no need to go any higher) from head to toe, stay in the shade whenever possible or slip on a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses for added sun protection.

 

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