Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studies Underscore Link Between Nutrition And Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers

Date:
March 3, 1998
Source:
University At Buffalo
Summary:
What you eat may play a role in your risk of developing skin cancer, the most common malignancy in the U.S. Ultraviolet light has long been considered the major cause of most skin cancers, so prevention has focused on staying out of the sun and wearing protective clothing and sunscreen. But studies in recent years have indicated that several nutritional factors also may play a role.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- What you eat may play a role in your risk of developing skin cancer, the most common malignancy in the U.S.

Related Articles


Ultraviolet light has long been considered the major cause of most skin cancers, so prevention has focused on staying out of the sun and wearing protective clothing and sunscreen.

But studies in recent years have indicated that several nutritional factors also may play a role, according to Harvey Arbesman, M.D., a dermatologist and University at Buffalo clinical assistant professor in the departments of Social and Preventive Medicine and Dermatology.

Primary among these factors, Arbesman said, are dietary fat and antioxidant vitamins and minerals.

Half of all new cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are skin cancers. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, accounts for only about 4 percent of total skin cancers, but is more prone to spreading and can be fatal. The remaining 96 percent are labeled nonmelanoma skin cancers, and they account for an estimated 1 million new cases of skin cancer per year.

Arbesman reviewed findings of scientific literature dealing with the relationship between nutrition and these nonmelanoma cancers here Feb. 27 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology and discussed the role of nutritional factors in treating patients at risk.

The majority of nonmelanoma skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas, which rarely spread, but can cause significant local damage that requires surgery, Arbesman said. The remaining nonmelanomas are squamous cell cancers, which pose a slightly increased risk of spreading but are usually easily treated, he noted.

"Clinical trials have demonstrated that a low-fat diet can reduce the development of new precancers called actinic keratoses, as well as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas," he said. "One recommendation for patients at risk of developing these growths is to consume a diet containing no more than 20 percent of calories from fat."

Risk factors for developing new nonmelanoma skin cancers include a history of precancerous lesions, fair skin, red or blond hair, early severe sunburns and a history of intense sun exposure.

Antioxidant vitamins with the ability to neutralize damaging free-radical molecules produced as a byproduct of normal metabolism and by ultraviolet light have been shown to be potentially important in protecting against skin cancers.

"Some animal and epidemiologic studies have shown that a higher intake of Vitamin C can reduce the development of nonmelanoma skin cancer," Arbesman said. "Another recommendation for persons at risk might be to increase their intake of foods rich in Vitamin C to consume 500 milligrams per day. They also may benefit from increasing their intake of foods containing beta carotene, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli."

Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the development of ultraviolet light-induced tumors in animals, he reported, but because Vitamin E can interact with other medications, Arbesman cautioned against taking supplements without consulting a physician.

Selenium, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant, also may play a role in reducing the risk of skin cancer. Selenium is available liberally in food sources such as brown rice, whole grains and Brazil nuts. One single Brazil nut provides 120 micrograms of the mineral, exceeding the 100 microgram recommended daily dose, he noted.

Arbesman cautions against taking selenium supplements because of potential adverse side effects, which include blackened or fragile fingernails, irritability, nausea and vomiting.

"These nutrients that have been shown to have an impact on nonmelanoma skin cancers are already part of most diets, and they benefit other organs as well," he said. "Everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University At Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University At Buffalo. "Studies Underscore Link Between Nutrition And Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980303063941.htm>.
University At Buffalo. (1998, March 3). Studies Underscore Link Between Nutrition And Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980303063941.htm
University At Buffalo. "Studies Underscore Link Between Nutrition And Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980303063941.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins