Sun exposure isn’t the only thing that affects your skin cancer odds. By Dawn Chen
Photo: Wang Tom / www.123rf.com
The biggest factor that ups your skin cancer risk is… you guessed it: UV radiation and damage. But beyond the obvious, scientists are also discovering new research that points to some pretty surprising causes of skin cancer.
Alcohol (white wine in particular!)
Overall alcohol intake was associated with a 14 per cent higher risk of melanoma per drink each day, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Of the various forms of alcohol – beer, red wine and liquor – white wine was the biggest taboo as it carried the most significant association. Researchers theorise that this is because alcohol damages DNA and prevents DNA repair. If you must have a drink after dinner, opt for red wine instead as the antioxidants in red wine may offset the risks, says lead study author Eunyoung Cho.
Specifically, citrus juice like orange or grapefruit juice, suggest results published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a study that followed over 100,000 adults over 25 years, researchers found that those who drank citrus juices once a day (or more) had an increased risk of developing melanoma. This could be because of certain compounds found in citrus fruits that may make skin more photosensitive.
Research published in the British Medical Journal has linked the presence of certain human papillomaviruses (HPVs) with an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma, one of the main types of skin cancer. There are more than 100 types of HPV infections available, and these have also been known to cause other types of cancers like cervical cancer and anal cancer. Scary stuff.