One hand on wheel, one at risk for skin cancer

June 19, 2011


USA Today

Publication Date

June 19, 2011


Jonathan Shorman Summary

Dr. Paulson’s study of the risk of melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma shows that about one in ten of these cancers is likely associated with sun exposure while driving because these cancers occur more often on the left arm in the US. In Australia, where drivers sit on the right side of the car, the risk is reversed from sun-associated skin cancers.


Cruising with the windows down and the wind in their hair is how many people like to drive. But that open feeling could be costly.

New research suggests that people in the USA are more likely to develop skin cancer, including melanoma and merkel cell carcinoma, on the left side of their bodies. Driving may be to blame: The left arm receives more ultraviolet radiation, say researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle who analyzed cancer cases recorded in a government database.

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