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Cancer Specialist: Sun Exposure Does Not Cause Melanoma

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The risk of skin cancer increases in San Diego's sunny summer months, but not the risk of melanoma.

— The risk of skin cancer increases in San Diego's sunny summer months, but not the risk of melanoma.

Melanoma may be the most deadly form of skin cancer, but it's not the most common. UCSD cancer specialist Gregory Daniels says 95 percent of skin cancers are non-melanomas, which are easy to spot and do not easily spread. Those more benign cancers are caused by UV rays from the sun. But Dr. Daniels says there is no direct connection between getting a lot of sun and getting melanoma.

He says, in fact, "As the incidence of melanoma has risen it's also paralleled a change in behavior that's going on all across the world, and that is people are working indoors."

Studies show that people who get lots of sun, like farmers, are less likely to get melanoma than office workers. He says this could mean that intense, occasional sun exposure increases the risk of the disease.

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