For starters, there's no real proof that sunscreens actually prevent most skin cancers. Yet your dermatologist is probably robotically advising you to slather on a toxic sunscreen as a proven skin cancer preventive.
Did your doctor mention studies showing that people who spend a greater percentage of their time outdoors have the lowest risk of melanoma?
For example, office workers have a greater melanoma risk than farmers, construction workers and even lifeguards! Based on population studies, melanoma rates are higher in Minnesota than Arizona, as well as higher in Norway than in the south of France.
Another pesky fact: Melanoma often occurs in dark places shielded from the sun, including the soles of the feet, the genitals, inside the nose and mouth, and under the fingernails.
Dr. Marianne Berwick of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reviewed the top studies on sunscreens and cancer. Her conclusion: "There is no evidence that use of sunscreen at any age offers any real protection against malignant melanoma."
Back in 2007, the FDA "tentatively concluded that the available evidence fails to show that sunscreen use alone helps [prevent] skin cancer."
In fact, malignant melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, is on the rise despite years of wholehearted sunscreen use by the public; the number of melanoma skin cancer cases has tripled over the past 35 years.
The most common type of cancer in the United States is melanoma. Approximately 68,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma yearly, while another 48,000 are diagnosed with a type of early form of the disease. An additional 2 million people are treated for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer yearly. Yet the annual death rate is less than 1,000.
Sunscreens cause cancer
The consumer watchdog Environmental Working Group (EWG) has reported that almost half of the most popular sunscreens on the market actually accelerate the development of malignant skin cancer cells.
Also, sunscreens block UVB rays, which are vitamin-D-producing, thus effectively blocking the skin from producing vitamin D with sunlight. Currently, over 70% of the population (USA) suffers from vitamin D deficiency, and vitamin D has proven anti-cancer properties.
Sunscreen also blocks a pigment called melanin, which is your body's innate protection against burning via tanning. Melanin production is inversely related to DNA damage from UV radiation. Ironically, studies show that tanned skin, especially during childhood and adolescence, is protective against melanoma.
Regular sunscreen use has another liability: You're more likely to burn on the days you forgo sunscreen.
According to IBISWorld.com (2013), sunscreen sales grew 4.2% a year between 2007 and 2012 and generated $1 billion annually. Yet, even with sunscreen sales booming, there's been a troubling rise in melanoma skin cancers.
Several class-action lawsuits were filed against leading sunscreen manufacturers in 2006, alleging that manufacturers "are making systematically fraudulent, deliberately misleading claims on their labels and websites and in their advertising, exaggerating the ability of sunscreens to protect against the sun and reduce the risk of cancer and other skin ailments."
New FDA consumer protection sunscreen labeling rules took effect in 2012, but manufacturers can still claim that their products have cancer-protective benefits.
Rules or no rules, does it really make sense to slather chemicals onto your skin with a product that's not even a proven preventive, but actually increases the risk of skin cancer?
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About the author:
Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com