Rates of Skin Cancer Higher Among Athletes

j0438322Maybe it’s because they’re training outdoors regularly, or wearing shorts and tees during a game, but whatever the case may be, the latest issue of Sports Health points out that athletes are more susceptible to developing skin cancer.

Researchers of the study confirmed that athletes are “at an increased risk of sunburn because of their training schedules and conditions, with obviously those individuals who compete in summer sports being at significantly increased exposure.” (Source: MedicalNewsToday.com)

Athletes who are involved with summer training and events are considered to be at a greater risk for developing skin cancer because they can develop sunburn after just a few minutes of high-intensity UV exposure under certain conditions. Even winter sports enthusiasts – skiers, snowboarders, and snowshoers – can get sunburn because the powerful sun rays reflect off the snow and are absorbed into the skin.

In order to offset their risk, athletes must wear sunscreen whenever they are outdoors – whether there is sunshine in the forecast or not – and wear protective clothing. Training indoors can significantly reduce the risk of sunburn and certain types of skin cancers, so it is in the athlete’s best interest to complete their workouts and routines off the field whenever possible.

Since most athletes will sweat away any products that are put on the skin after a vigorous training routine, it’s also a good idea to reapply sunscreen at various intervals throughout the day, and to select a waterproof version so that the sunscreen does not dissolve so easily. Wearing full-sleeved, moisture-wicking shirts and pants is also recommended so that bare skin is not constantly exposed to the sun. Some of today’s leading sports clothing manufacturers also produce UV-protecting hats, capri pants and workout pants for those who want another layer of sun protection when they’re outdoors.

Further Reading

  • If you’re one of the many people who head to the beach with plenty of sunscreen and a beach umbrella, you may still need to take extra steps to ward off harmful UV rays. According to a recent study published in the Photochemistry and Photobiology journals, beach umbrellas block out only about 70 percent of UV rays.

  • Mohs surgery has been proven effective for reducing facial scarring after skin cancer surgery, and is quickly becoming the preferred surgery of choice at several cosmetic surgery and dermatology offices around the United States.

  • A new study carried out by the Institute of Cancer Research and published in the Cancer Research journal shows that a genetic mutation found in some forms of malignant melanoma can initiate the development of the deadliest form of skin cancer. The KRAS gene is mutated in approximately two per cent of malignant melanomas, and is the study is the first of its kind to show that damage to this gene can be the first in a process of events that trigger malignant melanoma.