Screen test: failed

Published: Tuesday 31 March 1998

Sunscreens do not help prevent skin cancer. This startling revelation came recently at a science conference in Philadelphia, USA, where the widely-held belief that sunscreens lower the risk of deadly melanoma skin cancer was questioned. Sunscreens prevent sunburns, and since there is evidence that frequent burns, especially at an early age trigger melanoma, many assume that using them help ward off this cancer. However, melanoma cases have risen dramatically over the last 25 years despite the numerous brands of sunscreens that have flooded the markets. The lethal cancer now strikes 42,000 Americans each year, killing more than 7,300.

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