06/20/2005 - News

Sunlight could decrease prostate cancer risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Sunlight could decrease prostate cancer risk

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

Exposure to sunlight could halve the risk of prostate cancer, according to a new study.
Although sunlight can increase the risk of skin cancer, it can also have some benefits because it activates vitamin D. And this, say doctors at the North California Cancer Center, may help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

They compared a group of 450 patients who had advanced prostate cancer with a group of 450 men who did not have cancer. They measured sun exposure by comparing pigmentation of underarm skin with that on the forehead. This showed that the control patients had higher skin exposure - their foreheads were relatively more pigmented. Analysis of the results suggested that high sun exposure could reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as half. However, this does not mean that men should deliberately sunbathe to reduce their risk of prostate cancer. Outdoor exercise and an adequate amount of vitamin D from diet should be sufficient to afford protection from the disease.

Cancer Research 15th June 2005

Created on: 06/20/2005
Reviewed on: 06/20/2005

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