Men at higher risk of skin cancer, study finds

2 December 2011

A new study has taken a step towards solving the research gap looking to find out why men are three times more likely than women to develop a form of skin cancer.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J Solove Research Institute have found that males are at increased risk of contracting lower levels of important cancer-linked inflammatory cells.

Published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the study showed that a protein called catalase, which inhibits skin cancer by mopping up hydrogen peroxide and other DNA-damaging reactive-oxygen, is more commonly found in women than men - making the latter more prone to dangers from compounds that form during exposure to ultraviolet B light (UVB).

"As a result, men may be more susceptible to oxidative stress in the skin, which may raise the risk of skin cancer in men compared to women.

"Women may have more natural antioxidant protection in the skin than men" study co-leaders Gregory Lesinski and Tatiana Oberyszyn said.

The key findings included the risk of UVB exposure as a common cause of sunburn, which could affect how proteins are reacting within the body of both males and females.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the number one cancer type in men over 50.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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