Posted by Jody on Jun.04.18 in Skin Care
The gene is what’s known as a tumor suppressor, which means just what it sounds like: It helps stop cancer before it can start. In people who have a mutation of this gene, though, or low levels of the gene, it can’t clean up nearly as much of the damage. So those people are at higher risk of developing melanoma or other skin cancers. The study authors tested 340 melanoma patients and found that lower levels of the protective gene were linked to lower survival and more advanced metastases.
The gene was actually discovered in the early ’90s as a factor in a UV light-sensitivity disorder called xeroderma pigmentosum, which puts patients at extremely high risk for skin cancer. Now we know this gene plays a role in everyone’s odds of getting skin cancer.
Even if you have this protective gene, it can’t repair all of the damage the sun causes. Researchers hope this discovery may eventually lead to drugs that could help stimulate better repair of UV-damaged skin cells, says Yongfei Yang, a research associate at The University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and lead author of the study. Meanwhile, it’s still crucial to protect yourself from the sun every single day.
Published on May 20, 2016
Skin Cancer Foundation