Monday, February 24, 2014

Drinking Linked to Higher Risk of Melanoma

Drinking alcohol could make your skin more vulnerable to melanoma, according to a recent study conducted by researchers in France, Iran, Italy, Sweden, and the United States.

The researchers looked at 16 different studies involving more than 6,200 cases of melanoma. Researchers compared a patient’s alcohol intake with the risk of developing this deadly skin cancer. The study indicated that each patient’s risk of developing melanoma increased proportionally with daily alcohol intake.

According to the study, drinking more than a pint of beer or one glass of wine a day raises the risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and for those who drink more than four glasses a day the risk increases to 55 percent.

Scientists believe this correlation is caused by the chemical reaction that occurs once ethanol is ingested in the body. The ethanol is converted into a compound called acetaldehyde, which is believed to be a ‘photosensitizer,’ causing the skin to become more sensitive to light. This compound also generates molecules called reactive oxygen species that damage cells in a way that can cause skin cancers to develop.

Eva Negri, MD, one of the authors of the study from the University of Milan said, “We know that in the presence of UV radiation, drinking alcohol can alter the body’s ability to produce a normal immune response. This can lead to far greater cellular damage and subsequently cause skin cancer to form.”

In addition, about 3.6 percent of all cancers are attributed to alcohol drinking worldwide. Regularly drinking a pint of beer or a glass of wine is known to increase the risk of bowel, breast, mouth, oesophageal, and throat cancers. Regardless of the study’s results, it is still wise to limit alcohol intake, as it can reduce your risk of developing these types of cancers.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. For a skin cancer screening, call Greenville Dermatology today at (864)-242-5872. If you’re interesting in finding skincare products that can help protect your skin from sun damage, stop by our store for a consultation with one of our skincare experts.  

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