HomeWorld NewsHay fever tablets may boost survival rates of skin cancer patients, scientists claim – The Sun
Hay fever tablets may boost survival rates of skin cancer patients, scientists claim – The Sun
HAY fever tablets may be effective against skin cancer, scientists claim.
They looked at records for 24,562 patients suffering from malignant melanoma over an eight-year period and found survival rates were better for those on one of two types of allergy drug.
Desloratadine had the best results, followed by similar drug loratadine.
Other patients in the study used ebastine and fexofenadine.
But these allergy drugs seemed to have no effect.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden found that the allergy medications were particularly helpful for older patients.
The use of the two allergy drugs also seemed to reduce the risk of patients being diagnosed with new skin cancer.
Professor Hakan Olsson said: “In addition, these medicines have virtually no side effects."
“Previous studies have shown that the same antihistamines also have survival benefits in breast cancer.”
The findings could be groundbreaking if they were to be used as a future drug against melanoma.
Suitable dosages and treatment periods will be the focus for the next stage of research.
SUN GP Dr Carol Cooper’s tips on protecting against skin cancer.
Avoid strong sunlight, especially between 11am and 3pm when the rays are at their most potent, even in the UK.
Wear a hat to protect your face. It helps against the ageing effect of the sun and can even reduce the risk of cataracts. Good shades with UV protection are essential too.
Use the right sun cream. SPF 50 is about right for adult faces, and around 30 for the body, but base your choice on how easily you burn. Children need more protection. Look too for protection against UVA rays, expressed as a separate rating alongside the SPF number.
When applying sun cream, be lavish and cover all exposed areas of skin. The knees, tops of the feet and back of the ears can often get overlooked.
Top up often, especially after swimming or sports. Products billed as all-day protection can let you down if you rub them off or fail to apply enough in the first place. You may need sunscreen even under a parasol because sand, water and concrete all reflect the sun’s rays.
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