Men: Like Tans? Maybe Reconsider, If You Want to Keep Your Testicles

If you tan well, you may be at higher risk of testiculat cancer, a new study has found.  We've long been warned about the skin cancer risk, but now here's one men might not brush off so lightly.

A gene important in skin tanning has been linked to higher risk for testicular cancer in white men, according to newswise.com.  "Nearly 80 percent of white men carry a variant form of this gene, which increased risk of testicular cancer up to threefold in the study," newswise.com reports.

“It appears that this particular (gene) variant could help protect light-skinned individuals from UV skin damage, like burning or cancer, by promoting the tanning process, but it permits testicular stem cells to grow in the presence of DNA damage, when they are supposed to stop growing," the Web site quotes Douglas Bell, Ph.D., author on the paper and researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH.

In the study, conducted by Xuting Wang, Ph.D., of NIEHS, co-author and lead bioinformatics scientist on the paper, data on thousands of genes was mined to see if this variant was indeed behind what was happening.  “In the end, one variant . . . was strongly associated with testicular cancer, but also, surprisingly, displayed a positive benefit that is probably related to tanning that has occurred as humans evolved,” Wang told newswise.com.

So, men, if you want that toasty golden look next summer, maybe you should think about what we women often do, instead -- apply a self-tanner.  Fortunately, they no longer look like you've eaten too many carrots. They're actually made to look just like a healthy tan.  It may cost more than going out in the sun, but your body could possibly very well thank you for it later.  

 

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