Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The psychology of skin cancer

05.02.2007
Thousands of people are jetting off for a week of sun, snow, and après-ski. And while they may worry about breaking limbs, how many consider the dangers of skin cancer?

It is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with more than 69,000 new cases reported every year. The incidences of the most dangerous type – melanoma – have has doubled over the past 20 years.

Now an online survey aims to learn how people of different nationalities behave while having fun in the sun, and their attitudes to tanning and skin cancer.

The survey, at www.genomel.org, is the latest initiative by GenoMEL, a five-year international research consortium, coordinated by the University of Leeds, which is using a combination of genetic science and psychology to try and halt the alarming rise in skin cancers.

Their main focus of the researchers is collecting DNA from thousands of people, to identify the genes – running in families or populations – which may increase susceptibility to skin cancer. The project coordinator is Professor Julia Newton-Bishop of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine. She explained: “We have identified four high-risk melanoma genes which increase someone’s risk of skin cancer. There are also many other relatively low-risk genes, such as MC1R, – this one which gives people pale skin, red hair and freckles and therefore makes them more susceptible to sun damage.”

But it isn’t simply genetic. For example, in Australia up to 11 per cent of melanoma patients report an earlier family history of the disease, compared to just one per cent in the UK, although both countries have a similar genetic mix. Susceptibility to cancer may be related to lifestyle, where you live – and how you look after yourself in the sunshine.

The multiple-choice survey aims to show how lifestyle choices and attitudes to exposure to the sun affect the risk of getting skin cancer. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete and offers participants the chance to access receive more information about reducing their own risk.

“This is a great way for people to take part in research and to really make the most of the Internet,” said Professor Newton-Bishop. “With an on-line survey we can involve thousands of people whereas with more traditional methods we could only reach a few hundred.”

The questionnaire is available in English, Dutch and Swedish – though French, Spanish, Italian, German, Slovenian, Hebrew, Polish and Latvian versions of the site will go live over the next few months, allowing researchers to assess how people of different nationalities interpret their own risk and protect themselves in the sun.

The results, expected in early 2008, will help scientists develop more effective prevention and education strategies, aimed at getting millions of sun worshippers to change their behaviour. Professor Newton-Bishop added: “We hope to create an online ‘risk calculator’ that makes it easy for individuals of different skin types to work out how safe they are in the sun, based on our genetic research findings.”

Simon Jenkins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>