In brief: Skin antioxidants and squamous cell carcinoma

Many researchers put the greater incidence of squamous cell carcinoma among men down to the fact that they accumulate more sun exposure and use less sun protection than women. However, experiments in mice now seem to indicate that gender differences in antioxidant levels in the skin may be more important. Following exposure to UVB radiation, males produced a weaker inflammatory response, experienced more extensive DNA damage and had lower antioxidant levels in their skin than females. With longer-term exposure, males developed more tumours that tended to be larger and more aggressive than those in females.
Thomas-Ahner JM, Wulff BC, Tober KL et al. (US) Cancer Res 2007;67:3468-74.

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