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Use Sunscreen: Do What You Can to Prevent Cancer

By: Andrew Yakubovich

How does Skin Cancer Develop?

If you knew you could help prevent cancer, wouldn’t you do everything in your power and take every necessary precaution to do so? Applying sunscreen is one of the easiest things that you can actively do to help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, one of the most common types of cancer. According to Worldwide Cancer Research, over 80% of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation, and much of this is from the sun’s UV rays. Too much UV radiation from the sun can damage the DNA in skin cells and lead to skin cancer. Therefore, it is extremely important to protect from the sun’s harmful rays while outside, so be sure to use sunscreen and re-apply it throughout the day.

High SPF Sunscreen Blocks Harmful UV Rays

There are hundreds of different types of sunscreen, so it may seem difficult to choose one. According to, sunscreens with higher Sun Protection Factors (SPF) offer more protection against sunburn, UVA damage, and DNA damage than comparable products with lower SPF values.

Use Sunscreen: Choose Products Without Benzene

A recent study by Valisure found that many sunscreens contain trace amounts of Benzene, a known carcinogen and a chemical that is extremely dangerous to humans. This study tested hundreds of different types of sunscreens and found which ones contained Benzene and which ones did not. It may be confusing to learn that products meant to help prevent cancer can cause cancer. However, it is important to understand the current research, to follow medical advice and to continue to use sunscreen. Be mindful of the sunscreen you choose, review the lists of products that contain Benzene, and if uncertain, consult your dermatologist.

The Valisure study detected Benzene in some popular types of sunscreen:


  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Banana Boat Ultra Defense Ultra Mist Clear Sunscreen Spray SPF 100
  • Sun Bum Oxy Free Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lotion – SPF 50

For a complete list of the sunscreens that have Benzene detected in them, please click here.

These are some of the sunscreens where Benzene was not detected. Note that it is important to check the specific type of sunscreen not just the brand.

Not Detected:

  • Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 100
  • Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spray SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Wet Skin Swim Humidity Sweat Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF

For a complete list of sunscreens without Benzene, please click here.

Medical and Financial Implications

Dealing with skin cancer, or any type of illness, causes stress and hardship, as patients are often traveling to hospitals and clinics receiving treatments that can be physically and emotionally taxing. These treatments can have side effects that may include fatigue and overall weakness and may cause the patient to have to take time off work. Coupled with reduced income from working less, if at all, the costs of medical care can add up very quickly, resulting in many bills and debt, thus creating even more stress. The Funds for Living Program helps alleviate financial stressors by giving patients access to part of their life insurance benefit while still leaving funds for their loved ones. The program works like a loan, with one’s life insurance policy serving as the only collateral that repays the loan. For more information, speak to a program coordinator at (866) 459-1271 or visit

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