I saved this interesting article that I read in HealthDay.com to share with you:

Research Gets to Root of Redheads’ Higher Melanoma Risk

Gene mutation tied to ginger tresses may also play role in promoting cancer, mouse study suggests

red headTHURSDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) — It’s well known that natural redheads are at higher odds for deadly melanoma skin cancer, and new research in mice may help explain why.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School say the genetic mutation responsible for red hair and light skin also appears to promote a well-known cancer-causing pathway.

A person’s hair color and skin tone are influenced by a gene receptor called melanocortin-1 (MC1R), and a mutation in MC1R accounts for the 1 percent to 2 percent of people who are born redheads.

In experiments with mice and cell cultures, researchers found that the same MC1R mutation — called MC1R-RHC — triggers a specific biochemical signaling pathway when a redhead is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and other sources.

This pathway, called P13K/Akt, has been tied to breast, ovarian and lung tumors, according to the study, which was published online Aug. 22 in the journal Molecular Cell

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Red hair, blond or dark hair and skin; slather on the sunscreen!  Melanoma can be a real killer.

Now that I’ve wrecked your day at the beach, don’t forget to feel good and keep smiling–under a colorful umbrella!  Pat

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