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Posts Tagged ‘Risk Factors’

The risk of getting skin cancer from sunbathing is overstated, say doctors

Warnings that too much sunshine can lead to the most deadly form of skin cancer have been over-emphasised, a study has claimed. 

It found that, although sunbathing is a risk factor, the number of moles on a person’s skin is the most important indicator of whether they will go on to develop melanoma. 

The scientists also identified two genes that dictate how many moles someone will have, and their risk of getting skin cancer.

Research suggests that genes rather than sunshine are the main cause of the cancer

The research, published in the journal Nature Genetics, is likely to reopen the debate over whether official health warnings about avoiding the sun are overstated and too general. 

The study’s authors said such warnings would be more useful if they focused on those most at risk – namely anyone with more than 100 moles on their body, redheads and people with fair skin – and taught them how to check their moles for changes in shape, size or colour. 

Although melanoma accounts for just 10 per cent of skin cancer cases in the UK, it is responsible for the most deaths, killing 1,500 a year. More than 9,500 Britons are diagnosed with the condition annually. 

Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, and one of the study’s authors, said: ‘The number of moles you have is one of the strongest risk factors for melanoma –stronger even than sunshine. This paper shows that we found two important genes that control the number of moles you have. 

‘Those genes also give you an extra risk of melanoma.’ 

Dr Veronique Bataille, a dermatologist at West Hertfordshire NHS Trust, added: ‘You often read that nearly all melanomas are caused by sunshine, which is not supported by the evidence. 

‘Let’s keep sunshine in the picture because it does make you age and causes you wrinkles. But let’s move away from scaring people by saying they are going to die because they go in the sun.’ 

Sara Hiom, of Cancer Research UK, said: ‘Everyone should be aware of changes in their moles and report anything worrying to their GP.’

Peripheral Artery Disease: Pain When Walking Can Be Reduced With Moderate Exercise, Study Suggests

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Dec. 25, 2008) — You probably know that poor diet and lack of exercise can lead to dangerous deposits of fatty plaques in arteries. But it is not just the heart that is affected – blood flow can be blocked to the legs too, leading to pain when walking, immobility and even in extreme cases, amputation.

Approximately 20% of us will suffer from this peripheral artery disease (PAD) once we are 65 or over, and with risk factors including smoking, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure it is on the rise. Surgical intervention can sometimes help, but the prognosis is not good.

Encouragingly, new research by Ronald Terjung et al. published in The Journal of Physiology shows that regular, moderate exercise can go a long way to relieving the symptoms of PAD, and by some unexpected mechanisms.