Tags: melanoma | genetics | gender | risk | men

Genetics Tied to Men's Higher Melanoma Risk

Genetics Tied to Men's Higher Melanoma Risk
(Copyright Fotolia)

Friday, 22 July 2016 12:32 PM

Men are at higher risk for melanoma and a new study suggests that genetics may partly explain it.

Melanoma, which can spread, is the dangerous form of skin cancer that spreads.About 76,380 new melanomas will be diagnosed this year, affecting about 46,870 men and 29,510 women. In addition, 10,130 people are expected to die from it – 6,750 men compared to 3,380 women, the American Cancer Society says.

A new study by researchers in Spain at links this increased risk to the results of a recent genetics study they performed.

Skin cancer is determined both by environmental factors, such as sun exposure, and other genetic factors. People with light skin or eyes and blonde or red hair have a 20 to 30 times greater chance of getting skin cancer that darker skinned people, who tan easily.

The research involved 1,057 people, some 52 percent who were melanoma patients, and focused 384 genetic variants and six physical characteristics. Men were found to have lighter skin pigmentation and a worse response to the effects of ultraviolet rays, the study found.

Meanwhile, several studies have shown that female hormones promote the production of melanin, the pigment that protects the skin from the sun. “Estrogen could be the reason why women have a darker skin tone, even when the genotypes of both sexes are the same, meaning that their risk of skin cancer is lower. So much so that skin cancer is much more prevalent in men," says Bárbara Hernando, co-author of the study, which appears in the journal Biology of Sex Differences.


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A new study suggests the reason that men are more likely to develop melanoma may be genetics.
melanoma, genetics, gender, risk, men
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2016-32-22
Friday, 22 July 2016 12:32 PM
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