The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: Where the sun does not shine: Is sunshine protective against melanoma of the vulva?

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflMay 7, 2011 4:00 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

"Intermittent sun exposure and sunburn are strong predictors of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM). On the other hand, melanomas may arise also in non-sun-exposed areas such as the vulva. However, little is known about a possible relationship between sun exposure and vulvar melanoma. Temporal and latitudinal dependencies of the incidence rates of vulvar melanoma were studied in comparison with those of CMM among Caucasians in Sweden, East Germany, USA and Victoria (Australia). The ratios of vulvar melanoma incidence rates to those of CMM tend to decrease with increasing CMM rates. The incidence rates of CMM have increased with time until recently, while those of vulvar melanoma have either decreased or remain constant. In USA vulvar melanoma incidence rates seem to increase from south to north, while for CMM incidence rates on sun exposed skin areas decrease from south to north. Comparison of latitudinal trends of the incidence rates of vulvar melanomas and CMM show opposite trends. Whenever CMM rates increase, either with time or with decreasing latitude (indicating increased sun exposure) the ratio of vulvar melanoma rates to CMM rates on exposed skin, seem to decrease. Thus, latitudinal trends seem to support the assumption that vulvar melanomas are not generated by UV radiation, and the possibility exists that solar UV radiation, probably via its role in vitamin D photosynthesis in exposed skin, may have a protective effect against vulvar melanoma and should be further investigated."

Photo: flickr/d_vdm

Thanks to Pete for today's ROFL! Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Science proves women who wax have better sex.

Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Scientific analysis of Playboy centerfolds reveals Barbie-like vulvas.

Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: That’s one miraculous conception.

WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ


1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.