Using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, in contrast with sunscreens with SPF of less than 15, may reduce risk of melanoma, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Researchers led by Reza Ghiasvand, PhD, of the University of Oslo evaluated data of 143,844 women with 1,532,247 person-years of follow-up and 722 cases of melanoma through the prospective, population-based Norwegian Women and Cancer Study.

Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression were used to examine the association between sunscreen use and risk for melanoma.

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Observed patients who were sunscreen users had more sunburns and sunbathing vacations, and they were also more likely to use indoor tanning devices.

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Those who used sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 had a significantly decreased risk for melanoma, compared to those who used sunscreens with an SPF of less than 15.

The estimated decrease in melanoma risk with general use of SPF of at least 15 among women aged 40 to 75 years was 18%.


  1. Ghiasvand R, Weiderpass E, Green AC, et al. Sunscreen use and subsequent melanoma risk: A population-based cohort study. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Sep 12. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.67.5934 [Epub ahead of print]