The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) today reassure Australians that sunscreens are safe and effective to use as a line of defence against skin cancer. The results of the study release yesterday should not undermine public confidence in sunscreens. Skin cancers are cancers that arise from the skin. They are due to the development of abnormal cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body.
There are three main types of skin cancers: basal-cell skin cancer (BCC); so squamous-cell skin cancer(SCC) and melanoma. The first two, along with a number of less common skin cancers; hence are know as nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Basal-cell cancer grows slowly and can damage the tissue; so around it but is unlikely to spread to distant areas or result in death.
Painless raised area of skin
It often appears as a painless raised area of skin; so that may be shiny with small blood vessels running over it or may present as a raise area with an ulcer. Squamous-cell skin cancer is more likely to spread. It usually presents as a hard lump with a scaly top but may also form an ulcer. Melanomas are the most aggressive.
For melanomas and basal-cell cancers exposure during childhood is particularly harmful. For squamous-cell skin cancers total exposure; so irrespective of when it occurs, is more important. Between 20% and 30% of melanomas develop from moles. People with light skin are at higher risk; so as are those with poor immune function such as from medications or HIV/AIDS. Diagnosis is by biopsy.
Decreasing exposure to ultraviolet radiation and the use of sunscreen; so appear to be effective methods of preventing melanoma and squamous-cell skin cancer. It is not clear if sunscreen affects the risk of basal-cell cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancer is usually curable. Treatment is generally by surgical removal; but may less commonly involve radiation therapy or topical medications such as fluorouracil.
Treatment of melanoma may involve some combination of surgery; also chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and target therapy. In those people whose disease has spread to other areas of their bodies; so palliative care may be use to improve quality of life. Melanoma has one of the higher survival rates among cancers; with over 86% of people in the UK and more than 90% in the United States surviving more than 5 years.
Replicate real world conditions
The study did not replicate real-world conditions and was base; hence upon a very small sample size of just 24 people,” explaine Mr Steve Scarff, ASMI’s Regulatory & Legal Affairs Director. As note in the study, these results do not indicate that individuals should refrain from the use of sunscreen.
In Australia, sunscreens are regulate as medicines and must comply with the high standards set by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Active ingredients must be evaluate for their safety by the TGA before they are approve for use in sunscreens; so the emerging evidence is regularly review to confirm their continue safety.
Sunscreen is proven to reduce the incidence of melanoma and other skin cancers; so if apply regularly and liberally as direct on the label, alongside other skin protection measures. Ground-breaking University of Queensland research found that regular sunscreen use result in reduce melanoma rates. And recently, experts recommend that Australians should wear sunscreen every single day and apply it as part of their morning routine.