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Melanoma risk has genetic basis in redheads

A gene mutation responsible for red hair and pale skin is also attributed to risk of melanoma.

An international study found the melanocortin-1 (MC1R) gene receptor not only influences hair and skin tone, but also promotes an important cancer-causing pathway.

Read more at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre

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3 Comments sorted by

  1. Tom Hennessy

    Retired

    Could this genetic cancer be 'set off' by iron, as it is in genetic bowel cancer, the red hair containing iron, a visible sign of increased iron?

    "Bowel cancers were two to three times more likely to develop in mice with a faulty APC gene that were fed high amounts of iron".
    "Planning to develop treatments that reduce the amount of iron in the bowel and so could lower the risk of developing bowel cancer".
    "The iron pigment is probably the major pigment of human red hair."

    report
    1. Tom Hennessy

      Retired

      In reply to Tom Hennessy

      Red hair and photosensitivity, commonly occur together.
      One of the first signs of increased iron is photosensitivity / porphyria cutanea tarda.
      Is the connection increased iron / "pheomelanin-metal complexation", since pheomelanin, that pigment predominant in those with red hair has been linked to increased melanoma?
      The porphyric mouse does not manifest UNTIL the iron rises to a certain point.
      "Was not observed until a high hepatic iron threshold was exceeded"
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17187429.

      report