From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook July 1996:

Sunscreens Don't Block Worst Part of Sun

by Carolyn Poirot, reprinted from San Diego Union, via San Diego (CA) Right Connection, and Austin (TX) Austi-Mate

Most of us have come to rely on sunscreens to save us from the sting of sunburn.

Then about 18 months ago came the bad news out of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston that sunscreens can give us a false sense of security when it comes to skin cancer, especially melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

It seems that sunscreens block the warning signs of ultraviolet light damage, the pain and redness, but not the more harmful damage to the deeper layers of skin and to the immune system.

Most sunscreens are somewhat protective against basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, the more common but less dangerous forms of skin cancer, but not against melanoma, which is responsible for six out of seven skin cancer deaths.

Skin cancer has become an epidemic. It is the most prevalent of all cancers with an estimated 800 000 Americans developing skin cancer each year and nearly 9000 dying from it. Half of all new cancers are skin cancers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the most common cause of all skin cancers.

Once again, cancer prevention experts recommend that we:

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Content last revised 1996-07-10