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Monday, February 12, 2007

Long hours of driving put drivers at risk to skin cancer

Ivanhoe Newswire: According to new research, American drivers who spend a considerable amount of time in their cars are at an increased risk for developing skin cancer.

Researchers from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, studied 898 skin cancer patients and found a correlation between the number of hours driving and cancer on the left side of the body. The skin cancers most commonly reported were cancers that develop gradually over time, like basal cell carcinoma and lentigo maligna.

Areas of skin exposed to sunlight while driving, like the head, neck, arms, and hands, are most at risk for skin cancer, according the researchers. They also report patients who drove with a window down had an even higher incidence of left-sided skin cancer.

Car windows do offer some protection from the sun's burning rays, but drivers are not completely shielded. Study authors suggest tinting or using UV filters on windows in automobiles, applying SPF 15 or higher sunscreen every day, and wearing protective clothing, like long sleeved shirts.

More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. In 2007, an estimated 10,850 people will die of skin cancer. The majority of skin cancers have a 95 percent or better survival rate if detected and treated early.

Source: Ivanhoe’s Medical Breakthroughs

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