What Does Being Male or Female Have To Do With Skin Cancer?


>>Narrator: He may be hampered by issues with
his heart and his hip, but that’s not slowing down Thomas Stockdale. Between getting birdies
on the golf course and watching birds in the wild, he’s spent a lifetime in the sun – and
for the last 15 years has been paying for it.>>Thomas Stockdale: Usually two appointments
a year with a dermatologist and he finds something every time I’m in there.

>>Narrator: In
all, Thomas has had dozens of moles and minor tumors removed from his skin. But spending
so much time in the sun may not be the only cause – Researchers now say part of the problem
may simply be that Thomas is a man.
>>Greg Lesinski, PhD: Male and female skin
appear to have different levels of the antioxidant called catalase. And this serves to limit
damage from the sun, from ultraviolet light, that can lead to skin cancer.

>>Narrator: It was researchers at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center who launched this
battle of the sexes over skin cancer – and noticed a profound difference. Not only did
female mice naturally have much more of the protective antioxidant in their skin, but
when it was applied to males – their tumors actually improved. And while these findings
were noticed in the lab, it’s easy to see the potential in humans.>>Nicholas Sullivan, PhD: You could envision
treating topically, on the skin, with an antioxidant to prevent, or even treat some of these patients.>>Narrator: It might even lead to his-and-her
sunscreens – and to new therapies that use an antioxidant potentially found more in women…
To treat the most common kind of cancer known to man. At Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer
Center, this is Clark Powell reporting.

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