Cancer diagnosis: Flip-flops and baseball caps could lead to skin cancer

21st June 2011

People who wear flip-flops and baseball caps in warm weather are putting themselves at risk of skin cancer, according to new research.

A study conducted at the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, US, showed that because these accessories leave the tips of ears and the tops of feet exposed constantly to the sun, there was a risk that skin cancer could develop.

Dr Rebecca Tung said: "Most skin cancers occur on the parts of the body that are repeatedly exposed to the sun. The potential for skin cancers in those areas are real, especially on the tips of the ears."

She added that at one time people would go out in the sun wearing trainers and wide-brimmed hats, which provided more protection, but now fashions had altered and people were leaving themselves exposed.

A study conducted at the University of Washington showed that drivers in America were more likely to suffer precancerous changes on their left arm as it is more exposed to the sun.

Cancer Research UK suggests that most cases of skin cancer are a result of overexposure to the sun's UV rays.

Posted by Edward Bartel

1. Paulson, Kelly et all: "Asymmetric lateral distribution of melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma in the United States" Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 22nd April 2011.

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