According to a study, ¼ of skin cells of middle aged people, have made the first step toward skin cancer. This study included samples of people between 55 and 73 years of age. Their cells had more than 100 DNA mutations. Some of them were leading to cancer. The team, who conducted this study is from the Sanger Institute (Near Cambridge). They said that the results are surprising. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. The best defense against it is prevention. The reason why skin cancer occurs is because ultraviolet-radiation, bombard our skin cells and transfer them from healthy tissue to cancerous.
Almost all mutations that happen in the skin cells that cause cancer are known, but scientists wanted to determine when they appear for the first time. So, researchers tested the skin of 4 patients. They drilled into the skin in order to reach DNA and find the first steps of cancer development. They found that ¼ of skin cells have cancer mutations, but they function normally. This is higher that scientists expected.
In order to skin cells grow into a tumor, they require many mutations. Nobody doesn’t know the exact number. Some of skin cells grow faster than others. Dr Campbell said that people should avoid exposure to the sunlight when they aren’t protected, and they should limit the time of their exposure. This research should be a warning for those who develops drugs against skin cancer. Some treatments kill 20-30% of normal cells. This is a serious collateral damage.