Home / Learn About Tanning / Lack of sunlight linked to cancers

Lack of sunlight linked to cancers

London, September 10, 2012, PTI:

Scientists have discovered that sun exposure may protect against some forms of cancer, despite increasing the risk of skin cancer.

In a series of studies, researchers have linked a lack of sunlight to 15 types of cancer. In a study published in the journal Anticancer Research, researchers assessed cancer cases in 100 countries along with rates of ambient ultraviolet radiation.

More sunlight was “consistently” associated with reduced rates of many types of cancer including breast, cervical, colon, oesophageal, gastric, lung and two forms of lymphoma, the Daily Express reported. In another study, published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control, death rates and cancer cases were analysed in 263 Chinese counties alongside satellite measurements of sunlight.

It found death rates for all cancers were reduced in areas where there was more sunlight. It also found incidence that some cancer types had the same correlation with ultraviolet light.

Researchers suggested that vitamin D, produced by sunlight on the skin, “may reduce the
incidence or improve the outcome of cancer”. A third study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, involved nearly 4,51,000 people in America. Scientists found exposure to ultraviolet light was linked to a reduced risk of various cancers including prostate, kidney, colon and bladder.

“Studies suggest this could be increasing our risk of some cancers. It may be that sunlight and its role in the production of vitamin D may have a protective effect,” Webb was quoted as saying by the paper.