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Summer driving may be a factor in skin cancer

Itching to get on the open road, windows rolled down for a summer road trip?

Watch that left arm, say researchers who are warning of a left-side bias in skin cancer cases.

Driving may have something to do with it since the left arm is exposed to more UV than the right, say the University of Washington in Seattle researchers, who used a government database of cancer cases for their study.

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They found Americans were more likely to develop melanoma and merkel cell carcinoma on the left side of their bodies.

In Australia, where drivers are on the other side of the road, right arms tend to get more sun. A 1986 study found that Australian men were more likely to show precancerous growths on the right side of their bodies.

The authors suggest that people who spend a lot of time behind the wheel consider wearing sunscreen.

"Truckers would certainly be a group who would want to be aware of UV exposure while driving," said study co-author Kelly Paulson.

While car windows block the strongest UV rays, sunlight streaming through the glass can damage skin overtime, write the authors, whose study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Will you be applying sunscreen before that road trip this summer? Or rolling up the windows and blasting the A/C? Or throwing caution to the wind?

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