Abstract

Cyanobacteria are ancient photosynthetic microorganisms that shaped today's atmosphere. Anthropocentric and irresponsible activities are changing the atmosphere which favor the frequent occurrence and mass development of cyanobacteria. Extensive cyanobacterial blooming causes numerous problems, including negative effects on human skin. Climate change, depletion of ozone layer, and the increased ultraviolet radiation also affect the skin and lead to more frequent occurrence of skin cancer. This research, for the first time, attempts to establish a connection between these two factors, or whether, in addition to ultraviolet radiation, cyanobacteria can influence the incidence of melanoma. With this objective in mind, an epidemiological investigation was conducted in Vojvodina, Serbia. It was observed that the incidence of melanoma was higher in municipalities where water bodies used for recreation, irrigation and fishing are blooming; however, results could be considered as inconclusive, because of the restrictions in the cancer database. Nevertheless, results gathered from the reviewed literature support the hypothesis that cyanobacteria could be a new potential risk factor for melanoma, while climate change could be a catalyst that converts these potential risk factors into cofactors, which act synergistically with the main risk factor – ultraviolet radiation – and induce an increase of melanoma incidence.

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