Posted on 04/03/2013

Do Skin Cancer and Obesity Share Genetic Link?

Do Skin Cancer and Obesity Share Genetic Link?

Recent reports suggest obesity and skin cancer share genetic link

According to BBC News reports, “a gene previously shown to be linked to obesity may also increase the risk of a deadly form of skin cancer.”

The headlines, which come from a study looking at the genetic factors associated with malignant melanoma, found that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in a certain region of the FTO gene heighten the risk of melanoma. Previous research also found that specific variations in the FTO gene may be linked to obesity and BMI as mice with these variations tended to overeat.

The SNPs that were identified in this study however, were in a separate region of the FTO gene and were not associated with BMI. The research does suggest that the FTO gene is associated with more than just body mass index, but whether these variations actually contribute to the presence of melanoma is unclear.

The study was a case-control study, in which researchers looked at the genomes of those who had developed melanoma and the genomes of those without it. Carried out by a team of international researchers as part of the Melanoma Genetics Consortium, it was financed by a number of sources which included the European Commission and Cancer Research UK. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Genetics, the reports, which appeared on both the BBC and in the Daily Mail, were accurately covered.

Regardless of whether melanoma is in your genetics, the most recognised cause of the cancer remains overexposure to sunlight and artificial UV light, such as sun beds. To lower exposure to harmful rays, use sunscreen and stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm. To lower the risk of obesity, a healthy, varied diet is recommended along with daily exercise.

NRS Healthcare stock a range of bariatric products to support patients suffering from obesity. Designed to help make caring easier, we have a selection of quality products including hoists and pressure care equipment available. Please feel free to browse our website for the full range of bariatric equipment available or contact a member of our team should you require further assistance.

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