Reduced melanoma after regular sunscreen use

January 01, 0001

Reduced melanoma after regular sunscreen use

Regular sunscreen use prevents cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma long term, but the effect on melanoma is highly controversial. The researchers from Australia evaluated whether long-term application of sunscreen decreases risk of cutaneous melanoma. In 1992, 1,621 randomly selected residents of Nambour, a township in Queensland, Australia, age 25 to 75 years, were randomly assigned to daily or discretionary sunscreen application to head and arms in combination with 30 mg beta carotene or placebo supplements until 1996. Participants were observed until 2006 with questionnaires and/or through pathology laboratories and the cancer registry to ascertain primary melanoma occurrence.

Ten years after trial cessation, 11 new primary melanomas had been identified in the daily sunscreen group, and 22 had been identified in the discretionary group, which represented a reduction of the observed rate in those randomly assigned to daily sunscreen use (hazard ratio, HR, 0.50, not- significant). The reduction in invasive melanomas was substantial (n = 3 in active v 11 in control group; HR, 0.27) compared with that for preinvasive melanomas (HR, 0.73).

The researchers concluded: "Melanoma may be preventable by regular sunscreen use in adults."

This is an important reminder as many people decrease sunscreen use with vitamin D concerns.

For the full abstract, click here.

Journal of Clinical Oncology published online 6 December 2010
© American Society of Clinical Oncology
Reduced Melanoma After Regular Sunscreen Use: Randomized Trial Follow-Up. Adèle C. Green, Gail M. Williams, Valerie Logan and Geoffrey M. Strutton. Correspondence to Adèle Green: [email protected]

Category: S. Skin Keywords: melanoma, regular, sunscreen, randomized trial follow- up, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 7 January 2011

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