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Sun exposure may aid skin cancer victims { February 2 2005 }

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   http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.sun02feb02,1,7549479.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.sun02feb02,1,7549479.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines

Sun exposure, a major factor in skin cancer, may aid victims
More research needed on studies, scientists say

Associated Press
February 2, 2005

WASHINGTON - Sun exposure, a major risk factor for the potentially deadly skin cancer melanoma, also might help victims survive the disease, new research indicates.

And a second study indicates that exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of getting cancer of the lymph glands.

Researchers stress that their findings do not mean people should rush out and start baking in the sun. An editorial accompanying the studies said that more research is needed.

"Sunlight, particularly ultraviolet radiation, is a very well established human carcinogen," said Kathleen M. Egan of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Nothing in these papers should in any way detract from this message."

But the new reports, being published this week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, provide important clues to the development of these cancers and factors that may slow or stop them.

Melanoma has been increasing over the past half-century in developed countries with Caucasian populations, and studies have consistently found exposure to the sun a major factor.

But a new look at 528 melanoma victims over five years also found that increased sun exposure led to increased survivability, according to the study led by Marianne Berwick of the department of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico.

"It's totally counterintuitive, and we're trying to investigate it," said Berwick, who is doing a similar study of 3,700 melanoma patients worldwide. "It's really strange, because sunburn seems to be one of the factors associated with improved survival."


In the second study, a research team led by Karin Ekstrom Smedby of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden studied 3,000 lymph cancer patients and a similar number of people without lymph cancer in Denmark and Sweden. The researchers found that increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation through sunbathing and sunburns resulted in a reduced incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.



Copyright 2005, The Baltimore Sun



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