Genetic variants for red hair raise melanoma risk even without sun
Only recently, a scientific article published in Journal of American Medical Association Dermatology (lead by Prof. Okamoto) showed that genetic variants for red hair can increase risk of skin cancer (in this case melanoma) even without sun exposure. Genetic variants are inborn and common changes of the genome that are not directly linked to a disease. However, genetic variants are capable of increasing risk as so called endogenous risk factors. In this study, the variants cause the production of the less protective pheomelanin and are associated with red hair and more sun sensitive skin to the sun.
This work was also commented by Dr.s Roider and Fisher from Harvard University.
Caution: Sun exposure still remains the most important external risk factor for skin cancer. But melanomas also occur on sites unrelated to the sun! Only regular checks can avoid progression of skin cancer.