Summer 2016: SPF30 Sunscreen Lowers Deadliest Skin Cancer Risk By 80 Percent

By Samantha Finch, Parent Herald April 22, 07:03 pm
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Sunscreen products are responsible for absorbing some of the sun's ultraviolet or UV radiation, thus preventing the skin from getting sunburn. Now, a new research found that SPF30 sunscreen can lower the risk of acquiring melanoma, the most fatal type of skin cancer.

The American Cancer Society's estimation revealed that more than 76,000 individuals are expected to develop melanoma this year, with more than 10,000 possible to die due to the disease. The risk of melanoma, which rises with age, is 20 times more likely to occur in white people than in blacks.

SkinCancer.org wrote that melanoma can be cured if diagnosed in its early stages. However, it can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. When this happens, melanoma is harder to cure and can potentially kill the person suffering from the condition.

How it Works

The study was presented at this year's American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. Using a mouse model, lead investigator Christin Burd and her team found that aside from preventing sunburns, SPF30 sunscreens delayed melanoma development and lessened the occurrence of tumors.

Applying sunscreen products with SPF30 will reportedly cut cancer risk by 80 percent. However, the study researchers noted that various sunscreens and their ability to prevent melanoma formation at this point, although this can pave the way for future research as well.

"There were some minor differences in melanoma prevention amongst the different SPF30-labeled sunscreens," Burd said, as quoted by Fox News. "However, we later discovered that even though the sunscreens were all marketed as SPF30, some were actually predicted to have a higher rating."

Cancer Drug Helps Slow Melanoma Growth

Researchers found that the cancer drug nivolumab (Opdivo) helps treat melanoma as well as lung or kidney cancers that weren't cured by other types of cancer medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Opdivo in 2014, WebMD reported.

Data from the U.S. National Health Center stated that only 16.6 percent of patients suffering from advanced melanoma survived five years or more after being diagnosed with the disease between 2005 and 2011. Lead researcher Dr. Suzanne Topalian said Opdivo likely works better if taken with Yervoy, another FDA-approved drug for melanoma.

Topalian said the two drugs, when combined, have a response rate of more than 50 percent. Mixing the drugs, however, can give toxic side effects. Topalian said "clinic testing" is now underway to discover "better ways to give the combination," WebMD reported.

Experts view Opdivo as a promising treatment for melanoma, but the drug is expensive with its price of more than $103,000 over the course of seven months. Those who have insurance plans like Medicare covers Opdivo after an initial co-pay.

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