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Love Your Sunscreen

Love Your Sunscreen

Get outside and enjoy the end of summer this Labor Day weekend with family and friends, but don’t forget the sunscreen. It's your most valuable weapon against a skin cancer health diagnosis.

New research shows that people who have had nonmelanoma skin cancer have double the risk of developing other types of cancer, such as lung cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. Researchers speculate that the risk is so much higher for other cancers in skin cancer patients because their DNA is already weakened and damaged. And it appears that age is a factor as well—the younger a person is diagnosed, the higher the chance of developing other cancers.

Plus, in a surprising discovery, researchers found that certain drugs used to lower blood pressure actually help reduce a person’s chances of developing some skin cancers. Blood pressure-lowering drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) lower the risk of developing basal or squamous cell skin cancers. But why does this happen? Researchers have no idea why or how that connection exists.

Rather than relying on drugs to save you from skin cancer, just remember to limit your time in the sun, especially during peak hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reapply your sunscreen often—every couple of hours, and bring sunglasses and a hat.

What are your plans for Labor Day weekend? Will you be catching some rays? [HealthDay]

Posted: 8/29/08