Diet May Increase Cancer Risk

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Of: Caroline Schaefer

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Those who like to eat fish may be at increased risk of skin cancer. A large-scale study from the US now points to a possible connection.

Providence: Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. The number of diseases in Germany is constantly increasing. Every third cancer diagnosis is now traced back to skin cancer. According to the Techniker Krankenkasse, 200,000 illnesses are reported every year. Many of those affected primarily suffer from basal cell carcinoma or spinalioma, also known as white skin cancer. This is usually not fatal.

The third most common type of cancer is malignant melanoma or black skin cancer. In the early stages, the tumor can often be treated successfully. The later the diagnosis is made, the lower the chances of treatment. Certain foods are repeatedly scrutinized for skin cancer risk. This is also the case with a large study from the US, which took a closer look at the connection between fish consumption and skin cancer.

A dermatologist examines a patient’s skin during skin cancer screening. © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

American study: connection between fish consumption and skin cancer

For the Brown University study, published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control, researchers analyzed data from 491,367 adults with an average age of 62. Participants’ fish consumption was examined over a 15-year period. In addition, factors such as body mass index (BMI), physical activity, cancer in the family, diet, consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, and average UV radiation were taken into account.

“This study is important because it is very large and prospective, meaning fish consumption was studied before cancer developed,” said Eunyoung Cho, a co-author of the study and a professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University. “Although fish consumption has increased in the US and Europe in recent decades, results from previous studies examining the association between fish consumption and melanoma risk have been inconsistent; our results have highlighted an association that needs more research,” he added.

Increased risk of skin cancer after eating fish

The study results show that eating large amounts of fish, including tuna and non-fried fish, appears to be associated with an increased risk of melanoma. People who ate an average of 42.8 grams of fish per day had a 22% increased risk of developing malignant melanoma and a 28% increased risk of developing early-stage skin cancer, also known as melanoma in situ. These values ​​were compared to people who eat an average of 3.2 grams of fish per day.

Here’s how researchers evaluate a serving of fish:

boiled fish 40 to 170 grams
a can of tuna 142 grams

American study: fish may increase the risk of skin cancer

5,034 participants (1 percent) developed malignant melanoma during the study period, 3,284 (0.7 percent) developed melanoma in situ. According to the researchers, the consumption of non-fried fish and tuna in particular was associated with an increased risk of skin cancer.

  • Subjects who consumed an average of 14.2 grams of tuna per day had a 20% increased risk of malignant melanoma and a 17% increased risk of melanoma in situ
  • Subjects who ate an average of 17.8 grams of non-fried fish per day had an 18% increased risk of malignant melanoma and a 25% increased risk of melanoma in situ
  • (Compared to subjects who consumed a median of 0.3 grams of tuna or non-fried fish per day)

A significant connection between fried fish consumption and skin cancer risk could not be determined. The researchers also noted that the analysis did not take into account risk factors such as number of moles, hair color or history of severe sunburn. “Because the average daily fish consumption was calculated at the beginning of the study, it may not be representative of the participants’ lifetime diets,” she said.

Skin cancer: fish contaminated with contaminants in particular increases the risk

According to the researchers, pollutants in particular should play a role in relation to cancer risk. “We speculate that our results may be due to contaminants in the fish, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, arsenic and mercury,” Cho said. “Previous research has shown that higher fish consumption is associated with higher concentrations of these contaminants in the body and has found a link between these contaminants and an increased risk of skin cancer.” study was not examined. “Further research is needed to confirm this association,” Cho said.

A balanced diet not only has a positive effect on well-being, but also on health. On the other hand, nutrition with a certain amino acid is said to lead to depression, which is mainly found in animal foods. (cheese)

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