“Thank you to Dr. Bennett & his entire team for taking the cancer out of my face,” Ferguson wrote. “Good luck hiding the stitches tomorrow @modernfamily_makeuphair! #youwannaapieceofme #phantommask #spf75.”
Ferguson didn’t provide details about his diagnosis or recovery, but his red hair makes him 10 to 100 times more likely to develop melanoma, according to the National Institutes of Health.
It has long been known that it is the defect in the MCR1 gene that causes red hair, freckling and an increased incidence of melanoma.
Red hair (increased pheomelanin) appears in people with two copies of a mutation in the MC1R (melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor). Basically- this is a receptor- that when stimulated makes the skin cells (called melanocytes) make more pigment (called melanin). This receptor is also activated by the sun which causes a cascade that can result in the development of various forms of skin cancer including the deadly melanoma.
Another study also suggests that natural redheads are at at greater risk of melanoma even if they never go out in the sun.
ABC News reported that the study doesn’t “diminish the importance of sun exposure” as a key contributing factor in the pathogenesis of melanoma. SO– redheads beware! You’re at higher risk of skin cancer no matter what. Forget about laying out in the sun, embrace your fair skin, wear a sunscreen and get regular skin check-ups to catch melanoma early.
Rock it like a Redhead!