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Motorists Risk Deadliest Cancers

Research finds worst skin cancers occur on left side.

by on Jun.20, 2011

Danger: cancer ahead?

With summer officially just a day away, motorists by the millions are rolling back the tops on their convertibles – or at least hanging an arm out the window.  And that could be putting them at severe risk of cancer, new research warns.

While it may be difficult to confirm a definitive link, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle have found that Americans have a tendency to develop the worst forms of skin cancer – notably melanomas and merkel cell carcinomas – on the left side of their bodies.  That’s especially true when it comes to cancers discovered on the upper arm, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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The new report adds to the growing body of evidence that driving can increase a motorist’s UV exposure which, in turn, is linked to the formation of skin cancers.  In countries like the U.S., where drivers sit on the left side of the vehicle, various studies have found more cancers form on the left side.  Other research, including a 1986 report from Australia, found that in countries where the steering wheel is situated on the other side of the vehicle there are more cancers and pre-cancerous growths on the right side of a driver’s body.

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