MyGenetics employee Inna Kholandra said the highest risk of skin cancer is seen in people who have a particular mutation that speeds recovery from sunburn.

Ultraviolet light from the sun can penetrate deep into the skin and cause DNA damage and the accumulation of mutations that lead to skin cancer. Researchers from MyGenetics found that 61% of people in the Russian population produce enough of the protective pigment – melanin. They tan well and rarely burn in the sun.

People with fair skin have a reduced production of melanin, and as a result, the risk of sunburn and melanoma increases. However, such people often monitor their skin more carefully: use sunscreen and closed clothing. At the same time, people with mutations in the XRCC1 gene, which controls the rate of “repair” of DNA damaged by ultraviolet radiation, are also at higher risk of developing skin cancer.

The study showed that 42% of Russians had an increased rate of DNA repair in skin cells damaged by ultraviolet radiation. Kholandra notes that sunburns heal quickly, but because of this, a large number of cells with altered DNA remain, which significantly increases the risk of melanoma and increases the aggressiveness of the tumor several times.

The proportion of Russians with a low DNA damage repair rate from ultraviolet radiation is quite low – only 12%. The doctor said that to find out how much protection a person is from ultraviolet radiation, he must undergo a DNA test.

Source: Ferra

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