Consuming alcohol increases risk of Skin Cancer: maybe

A recent study has shown a positive association of increased alcohol consumption with the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. The study was small, so larger studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.

Here is yet another possible reason to limit or eliminate alcohol consumption. Red wine has some other health benefits that, according to some, might outweigh the negative effects when taken in moderation–no more than one glass per day, but even that is somewhat controversial.

Erectile dysfunction treatments lead to increased risk of melanoma and basal cell carcinoma.

The use of PDE5 inhibitors such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) are common for those with erectile dysfunction. More and more research has shown an increased risk of some types of skin cancer for those taking these medications. Interestingly, there have been no studies showing an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma.

For this reason, those with a history of melanoma should take this into consideration when considering taking one of these medications. Those with a personal history of multiple dysplastic moles or family history of melanoma should also take this into consideration. For patients whom have had multiple basal cell carcinomas should also weigh the risks of taking these medications.

Skin Cancer is on the rise!

According to a  study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, squamous cell carcinoma rates have increased 263% between 2000 and 2010, while basal cell carcinoma increased 145% over the same time period. 

 

Although the reasons for this increase is not yet studied, increased sun exposure and increased tanning bed use are likely contributing factors. Avoidance of midday sun, wearing sun-protective clothing, and the regular use of sunscreen all help to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.

Can your phone really diagnose melanoma? Not so fast!

According to an study published in JAMA Dermatology which evaluated 4 smartphone applications that analyze photographs to identify malignant melanoma, the apps were able to make the diagnosis of malignant melanoma between 6.8% to 98.1% of the time.  The app that was found to be most effective sends the photographs to a Dermatologist for evaluation. What is important to remember is that smartphone apps are not classified as medical tools but as educational devices and clearly do not replace the need for a professional opinion.