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Doctor and professor Bengt Järvolm talks about the sun and skin cancer

Doctor and professor Bengt Järvolm talks about the sun and skin cancer

I have some birthmarks that are starting to change. Some have gone dark in the middle. Others took on strange shapes and spread out a bit. In any case, it is still relatively small. What do you advise me to do?

– Find a dermatologist. He/she can quickly determine if this is a “normal” change or something that needs to be investigated/treated.

Someone with cancer, not skin cancer, but still. Should she protect herself more than others?

– It depends on the type of cancer and the treatment the person received for his cancer. Ask the doctor who treated your cancer.

What is the mean or median age at which symptoms or illness first appear? Does it help protect oneself in old age if a person is exposed a lot at a younger age?

The age at which you will be affected depends on the type of cancer. It is not known for certain how age at sunbathing affects the risk.

I read that sunscreen is not good and it is better to be careful and only sunbathe for half an hour then if you can extend the time. The article said sunscreen makes the situation worse. Is this correct? The same article also stated that not sunbathing is also dangerous to health. How should one act?

– Sunscreens protect against burns. It has been discussed that sunscreens make you sunbathe longer/more intensely than not using sunscreen, and this may mean an increased risk of cancer. Whether it is true or not, there are no good studies and it is very difficult to conduct such studies.

Is it okay to expose the skin to the sun when the UV rays are at a low level, i.e. 1-2? He uses sunscreen on the face and protective clothing at higher levels but believes the skin needs some sun too.

– I assume you mean a UV index of 1-2 so the risk of sun damage is considered minimal for the vast majority. There are people with diseases/treatments that should provide additional protection, but usually the treating doctor tells them this.

Does sunscreen not protect at all?

– Yes, it protects against skin burns.

When is the sun most dangerous for skin cancer?

– When the sun is at its peak, which is around the middle of summer here in Sweden.

Welcome! What is the state of research like regarding potential links between sunscreens and cancer/other diseases? thank you In advance!

– To my knowledge, there are no studies proving that sunscreen itself causes cancer or disease. However, it is known that substances in sunscreens are absorbed through the skin, and this has been studied by finding the substances or their breakdown products in urine. It is of course undesirable, but whether it is dangerous in the long term is difficult to investigate and has not been investigated to my knowledge.

Do clothes completely protect against rays or can they penetrate them? Do all sunscreens protect against all rays, or what should you pay attention to when purchasing?

– Most clothing provides good protection. Exceptions are, for example, thin shirts. Sunscreens contain different sun protection agents and should be applied in thick enough layers and often (recommended every two hours) to get their prescribed effect. When it was investigated how much people lubricated themselves, it turned out that the amount was often less than the recommended amount.

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Can malignant melanoma be detected only through liver spots/variable birthmarks on the body, or can it appear in other ways? Is it possible to say whether some parts of the body are particularly vulnerable to the formation of malignant skin cancer, and therefore it is important to cover them with clothing?

Malignant melanoma can appear anywhere in the body and comes on very quickly. It does not have to occur in a pre-existing liver spot. If you're wondering if the change is “serious,” you should see a dermatologist.

I'm blonde, freckled, burn easily, and have a hard time getting a real tan. Am I at greater risk of skin cancer than people (white-skinned people) who tan easily and rarely burn?

Studies have shown that people with their skin type are more likely to develop skin cancer.

Is it a good idea to wear a hat for sun protection?

– Yes, it is preferable to wear a wide-brimmed hat, as ear cancer is a common place for men to develop squamous cell carcinoma.

Last fall, I had a patch of localized melanoma removed from my entire breast. Am I now at greater risk of developing skin cancer in other parts of the body?

– Talk to your doctor about this.

Isn't it difficult to advise against using sunscreen as many do? Sometimes you have to be in the sun and clothes and hats do not protect the entire surface of the skin. Surely all supplements should be preferred?!

– Sunscreen protects against burns, and it is often difficult to always protect your hands and face well. We did not discourage the use of sunscreens, but we considered that knowledge was not sufficient to advise the use of sunscreens in jobs where you work a lot outdoors.

Are there any studies on whether occupational groups that are exposed daily to sunlight are more affected by skin cancer? I work as an archaeologist and we often go out for long periods from April to October.

When it comes to squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, there are several studies that show that working outdoors increases your risk of developing it. It is the type of cancer that is almost the easiest to treat today.

– When it comes to malignant melanoma, the knowledge is uncertain, there are studies that suggest an increased risk but also studies that suggest a lower risk compared to “the general population.” An explanation that has been suggested for the fact that there is less risk is that if you tan slowly, the skin becomes thicker and so you have protection against malignant skin cancer.

Is it true that you can protect yourself from sun eczema by taking beta-carotene pills? How many mg/day should a person take? Is there anything else to protect other than clothes?

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-The first thing you should use for sun protection is to stay in the shade. We must then remember that reflections from, for example, water or snow can also produce strong “solar radiation”. When working outdoors, for example, try to provide shade first, and secondly ensure that clothing/hats provide protection.

Is it true that exposure to sunburn does not necessarily lead to skin cancer? If so, is there any other sign our skin gives us that we have received very high doses of misdirected radiation, which could serve as a warning sign?

-There are chemicals that can cause skin cancer, which has been a big problem in the work environment. Radiation radiation can also cause skin cancer. For example, it is not burning that leads to “cancer.” The skin is affected in different ways by solar radiation. There are no signs on the skin used to assess cancer risk.

I want to be a tan and I read that the best tan is the one that is fake – that is, with a different tan without sun products and vitamins. Is there any research to suggest that these chemicals can be harmful to the body?

-I don't know of any research that these products could be dangerous, but I also don't know how well researched they are. Many substances can be absorbed through the skin, including those in sunscreen, and I don't know if these “fake creams” have been tested this way.

How important are different skin types when it comes to the risk of skin cancer due to sun exposure? Do you agree what is the most decisive factor? For example. If it is mainly due to genetics/ethnicity, age, sunbathing with medications or other diseases, etc.

It is known that people with fair skin who find it difficult to tan are more sensitive than others. People with dark skin rarely develop malignant melanoma. Why there are such large differences is not entirely clear.

Does your skin tolerate more sunlight if you can tan, or are the sun's harmful rays still just as harmful to you?

– When you tan, the skin usually becomes a little thicker. One hypothesis is that this protects to some extent against malignant melanoma (i.e. the skin becomes thicker).

When the IRA function “sun time” says that I can be in the sun for, say, an hour without burning myself, is that one hour without any protection at all?

-You should consider it as advice that the risks are low. There is no minimum dose of solar radiation that is known to be completely harmless when it comes to skin cancer. We also need light to make vitamin D, so always avoiding the sun is not a solution.

Is it true that exposure to sunburn does not necessarily lead to skin cancer? If so, is there any other sign our skin gives us that we have received very high doses of misdirected radiation, which could serve as a warning sign?

There are chemicals that can cause skin cancer when they come into contact with the skin, but they are usually a problem in the work environment. For example, it was already noted at the end of the 18th century that cleaners had an increased risk of developing skin cancer of the scrotum.

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Given the article that says sunscreen may not protect, isn't wearing it better than not using it, knowing that you're not a fan of sunbathing and are just trying to live life?

The advice “Do not use sunscreen” should be distinguished from the advice “Use sunscreen because it protects against cancer.” The most dangerous type of skin cancer is malignant melanoma, and in our opinion, knowledge is too weak to give advice, “Use sunscreen because it protects against cancer.”

Is it the amount of sun you are exposed to that is dangerous or can burning yourself cause skin cancer?

The amount of sun is the most important factor

Some of my family's chemist friends avoid sunscreen because it contains chemicals that get into the skin and only use it when they really need it. Thoughts on that?

– Some substances in sunscreen pass through the skin. This can be proven through urine analysis. This is undesirable, of course, but it is not clear whether it is “dangerous.” It is very difficult to conduct studies that show that the substances you take are completely harmless and so you need to balance the “benefit” of sunscreen with the problem of “skin absorption and an unclear risk picture.” You can do this as an individual, but naturally the authority needs to think differently. partially.

Should one completely avoid sun exposure when UV rays are high, even if wearing sunscreen and covering clothes?

-If you have covering clothes, it's okay, but warm!

We advise you to lubricate yourself every two hours. I've never seen this recommendation before. After showering and after sweating are times when recommendations are made in many forums for re-lubrication. Why do you think every two hours is necessary?

There are studies that have proven that the effect of sunscreen decreases with time.

Hi, can you get skin cancer from the sun even if you rarely get sunburned? Does staying in the sun without getting burned lead to skin cancer?

– Yes.

Is it true that you are exposed to UV rays more evenly when it is cloudy? In this case, should you also use sunscreen?

– Yes, all clouds do not absorb solar radiation, and it can vary depending on the type of cloud. Protective clothing is better than sunscreen.

Now there is a lot of talk about not using sun creams and sunglasses, as the skin and eyes feel much better because of it. Is this correct? Should we stop using these two?

Sunglasses are good protection for both the eyes and the skin around the eyes, the latter of course depending on how the glasses are designed.