Are sunscreens a cancer shield or a CANCER RISK? – Cancer Defeated

Are sunscreens a cancer shield or a CANCER RISK?

By Lee Euler / May 16, 2012

We’re coming to the time of year when many folks in North America make a beeline for sandy beaches, park benches and sunny rooftops to soak up some sun rays.

And you can be sure most of these sun seekers douse themselves with sunblock and tanning lotions in an effort to protect themselves from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Maybe you think the government is watching out for you and requires that all these products be tested for long-term health effects. Think again. Neither the manufacturers nor the government have looked into long-term effects at all. Now we’re learning they should have. It appears that sunscreens may be more likely than sunshine to cause cancer. . .

Continued below. . .

You’ve been told to avoid it at all costs. But–

This “forbidden” food could be the biggest health breakthrough of our time

Your whole life, you’ve been warned that this substance can wreak havoc on your health.

But the bad rap could be for nothing. Because research proves this shunned food:

  • “washes away” stubborn bladder infections (often in less than 48 hours)
  • decreases tooth decay by 80%–without having to drop any of your favorite foods
  • reduces blood clots without the dangerous side effects of aspirin
  • cuts sinus and ear infections by 93%–One pioneering Texas doctor reports these results that are so dramatic his patients forget to keep using it!

And you should see how it helps you drop weight!

How can one food–especially one we’re told to stay away from–do so much?

More importantly–what is it? And how can you get your hands on it?

You would expect the increased use of sunscreens should be accompanied by a marked decrease in cases of skin cancer over time. Do the statistics show this to be true?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit consumer research organization, said despite increased use of sunscreen products—incidents of skin cancer in the United States continue to RISE!

In a sobering 2011 study on the science behind sunscreens and skin cancer, the EWG determined that sunscreens:

  • May decrease the occurrence of squamous cell carcinoma…
  • Have no demonstrated influence on basal cell carcinoma…
  • May INCREASE risk of melanoma when used during intentional sun exposure, such as when staying outdoors for lengthy periods

Yes, you heard right on that last point: sunscreens may cause melanoma skin cancer.

How could sunscreens actually increase your risk for developing melanoma? EWG said many lotions produced over the past 30 years are effective at blocking UVB rays—while allowing higher UVA exposure. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, thereby causing more DNA damage.

And although many sunscreens now include UVA filters, EWG said many of the products available as late as 2011 still fell short in offering sufficient UVA protection.

But one health researcher said lack of UVA safeguards isn’t the only problem you’ll run into with sunscreen use. These chemical cocktails may cause cancer in other ways, too. Keep reading. . .

Here’s why ‘fake’ hormones in sunscreens
can harm your health…

    Did you know that some chemicals in sunscreens can take the place of your body’s natural hormones?

I’m not talking about something out of a science fiction movie. This is for real!

Dr. Elizabeth Plourde, C.L.S., PhD, a clinical laboratory scientist and health researcher, identified some of these chemicals in her book Sunscreens—Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste.

According to Plourde, a class of chemicals called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are so similar in structure to natural hormones like androgen and estrogen—they actually can invade the space these hormones should occupy — and take over!

Not only do EDCs substitute for your natural hormones, they even PREVENT the natural ones from doing what they’re supposed to do!

Dr. Plourde said one group of researchers found that all 18 of the sunscreen chemicals they examined were EDCs. If you’ve got a bottle at home, check the back for names such as:

  • Benzophones
  • Camphors
  • Cinnamates (IMC)
  • Octocrylene
  • Salicylates

If you see any or all of them listed—you should know that these substances have been shown repeatedly to have a toxic effect on the reproductive systems of lab animals!

So what effect do fake hormones have on humans?

    Dr. Plourde said researchers have concluded that early exposure to EDCs, combined with genetic propensity, contributes to adult testicular cancer… low testosterone levels… and male infertility…

And women aren’t off the hook either. When EDCs in sunscreen act as fake estrogens—they can lead to increased risk of breast cancer… thyroid problems that affect metabolism… and problems with fetal development during pregnancy…

In addition to the EDCs, sunscreens may also contain vitamin A to help slow skin aging. But according to the EWG report, vitamin A and its derivatives retinol and retinyl palmitate actually may increase the development of cancer cells!

The group said vitamin A used on skin exposed to sunlight can actually cause the formation of cancerous tumors.

The irony is that EWG reached its conclusion by examining results of a study released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Toxicology Program.

These are the very agencies the government uses to evaluate substances that could pose a public health threat!

Some folks insist that sunscreens are actually TOXIC to all living organisms and should be treated as hazardous waste. They might be right.

I’ve never liked slathering on sunscreens and haven’t used them for a number of years now. And I’ve always been horrified to see young parents coating their babies and toddlers with these chemicals from head to toe. Of course, we all know why they do. . .

We’ve all had it drummed into our heads that overexposure to sunrays can damage your cell DNA and put you at major risk for developing skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), this affects one to two million Americans each year.

The statistic is nonsense because nearly ALL these cases are basal cell carcinomas, a type of skin cancer that’s about as life-threatening as a pimple. Dermatologists insist on removing these almost-harmless specs with “surgery” that can cost you several hundred dollars.

Something like one or two thousand deaths a year can be attributed to basal cell carcinomas. That’s a tiny number. Out of 310 million Americans, it’s a very minor problem.

Melanoma skin cancer is another matter entirely.

Some recent scientific research has isolated UV radiation as a deadly culprit behind the development of melanoma. In a landmark 2009 study from The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom, scientists used new molecular technology to determine that thousands of gene mutations they identified in melanoma lesion cells were caused by UV radiation.

Prior to this study the connection between sun exposure and melanoma was in dispute (by me, not least of all). One problem is that melanomas often appear in areas of the body that get little, if any, sun. How do you figure that?

The new study tilts me a little bit toward believing sunburns may lead to melanoma. In any case, you only need moderate sun exposure and you should avoid burning or deep tanning. Tanning ages your skin and causes wrinkling. A light tan acquired by just a few minutes of sun exposure per day is the safest, healthiest option.

The ACS, of course, is a firm believer that sunshine causes skin cancer including melanoma, and recommends that you always use a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

How serious is the problem?

    Although melanoma and other skin cancers don’t lead the pack for causing cancer deaths—the fact is, people DO die from skin cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) reported that melanoma accounts for about 9,000 of the nearly 12,000 skin cancer deaths each year. The other deaths could be traced to other forms of skin cancer such as basal or squamous cell carcinomas.

The fact is that very few people die of skin cancer. It’s not a major health risk compared to breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and many other types.

Still melanoma is a nasty, life-threatening cancer if you do get it, a fact that leads many folks to slather on lotions and creams — mostly so they can spend long, long hours in the sun.

So if you choose not to use chemical laden sunscreens-what CAN you do to protect your skin from sun damage?

Dr. Plourde offers these suggestions:

  • Wear clothes that shield your skin—such as tightly woven fabrics; you may not know it, but thin, light fabrics may allow the sun’s rays to pass through
  • Reduce time spent in the sun—seek shade and be sure to cover up between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. By 5 PM in the summer there’s still plenty of sun and you can spend as much time in it as you want without burning
  • Adopt antioxidants—foods with healthy antioxidants will protect your skin naturally. I’ve also heard that a solution of powdered vitamin C in water, applied to the skin, prevents a burn. I don’t have confirmation of this.

So. . .you may need to change habits you’ve developed over many years. But if ditching your bottles of sunscreen determines whether or not you become a cancer statistic—it might be a move worth considering!

 Kindest regards,

Lee Euler Publisher

Additional resources:American Cancer Society. 2012. Skin cancer facts. Available online at Cancer Society. 2007. UV radiation and cancer. Available online at Working Group. 2011. Sunscreen and skin cancer. EWG’s Skin Deep. Retrieved online at

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. 2009, December 16. Lung Cancer and melanoma laid bare. Retrieved from

About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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