RED HAIR , A PITFALL FOR SKIN CANCER
Red heads hold high vulnerability to develop tumors punching their skin. The reason why red heads are unfortified against skin cancers as compared to the other populace is quite their genetic constitution. The pitfall lies in genome being vilified by some new versions of genes which cause skin cancer.
The vile gene is found to be MC1R gene which is the control house for melanin expression. Alterations in this gene hold about 16% causation of skin melanoma in general population where only 1 to 2 % of the world population is comprised of red heads. This is verily a warning for red heads to make them more vigilant against the risk factors.
There are many degrees of variations in MC1R gene in red heads. Some may have a single variant, may be two and even more. Some research by Dr. Adams conducted at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute revealed as
“Melanomas from patients with one or two of these variants, have on average, an increased number of mutations associated with 21 years of life in an individual without one of these variants.”
This elucidated the brutal truth for the red heads that their tumor inception can leap about 20 years ahead of a non red head when exposed to sun. The red heads should be on red alert in terms of being exposed to sun.
About 25% of the UK population is a carrier for a single variable gene of the genotype. They hold a façade of being invincible to the sun but they are found to be more prone to get damage to their skin cells. Their traits comprise pale skin, burning of skin, freckles over body and have hair color ranging from brownish to blonde and many hold a tint of red in hair.
Dr Julie Sharp, head of health and patient information at Cancer Research UK envisages the steps that must be taken by red heads and blondes to have their much needed protection: to avoid strong sun, have copious and regular use of sunscreen and use umbrellas , hats and t- shirts to cover their skin.