Navigation Links
Could Sunlight Lower Your Odds for Pancreatic Cancer?

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adding to already-conflicting data about sun exposure, vitamin D levels and cancer risk, new Australian research suggests that experiencing high levels of ultraviolet light and having sun-sensitive skin and a history of skin cancer each measurably lower the risk for developing deadly pancreatic cancer.

But U.S. cancer experts cautioned against making any lifestyle changes -- including tanning or altering vitamin D intake -- in response to the study, which is preliminary and does not prove these factors can prevent pancreatic cancer.

Comparing about 700 patients with pancreatic cancer from Queensland, Australia, to a roughly equal number of people from the general population, scientists led by Rachel Neale from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research found that participants born in areas with the highest levels of ultraviolet radiation had a 24 percent lower risk for pancreatic cancer than those born in areas of low UV radiation.

Those classified as having the most sun-sensitive skin had a 49 percent decreased risk of the malignancy compared to those with the least sun-sensitive skin, while participants with a history of skin cancer or other sun-related skin lesions had a 40 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer than those with no reported skin lesions.

Dr. James D'Olimpio, director of palliative medicine/cancer pain and supportive oncology at Monter Cancer Center in Lake Success, N.Y., questions the findings. "This study is very innovative and I applaud the design, but translating it to what's really going on in pancreatic cancer is a stretch," he said. "The whole idea of UV exposure conferring protection . . . is counterintuitive. I looked at this study with interest but a high degree of skepticism."

The research is scheduled to be presented Tuesday at an American Association for Cancer Research conference at Lake Tahoe, Nev.

About 44,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, with more than 37,000 deaths expected. Originating in the pancreas, near many other gastrointestinal organs, the malignancy is often discovered after it has spread and is extremely difficult to control or cure.

The Australian researchers matched study participants by age and sex to others in the general population over four years, interviewing them about social, demographic and medical information along with details of their birth location, skin-cancer history and skin type. They categorized skin type by skin color, tanning ability and propensity to sunburn.

Study authors noted that contradictory data exist on so-called circulating vitamin D -- the amount of the vitamin present in the bloodstream as a result of sun exposure, not food or supplementation -- and its association with cancer risk.

D'Olimpio, who specializes in pancreatic cancer, said that vitamin D is thought to cut the body's inflammatory response and stimulate the immune system to work more efficiently, both of which could contribute to a lowered cancer risk. But "we have a big puzzle and this is a tiny piece," he said. "This is a little data point we can plug in . . . but it's still controversial how much vitamin D people should have."

Dr. Michael Choti, a professor of surgery and chief of the division of surgical oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, also cautioned that more research is needed to identify the risk factors linked with developing pancreatic cancer.

"Certainly this study is hypothesis-generating, but it's not definitive," Choti said. "The concern is that [people] could interpret this as needing to get out in the sun more, when we don't have a good feeling about its negative effects on melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer. One needs to be careful about making blanket recommendations or even saying that taking vitamin D can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer."

Studies presented at scientific conferences are not yet peer-reviewed and results are considered preliminary until published in a medical journal.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about pancreatic cancer.

SOURCES: Michael Choti, M.D., M.B.A., professor, surgery, and chief, division of surgical oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; James D'Olimpio, M.D., director, palliative medicine/cancer pain and supportive oncology, Monter Cancer Center, Lake Success, N.Y.; June 19, 2012, presentation, American Association for Cancer Research conference, Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges, Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Red wine, fruit compound could help block fat cell formation
2. Pulse pressure elevation could presage cerebrovascular disease in Alzheimers patients
3. Report says new evidence could tip the balance in aspirin cancer prevention care
4. Climate Change Could Be Tough on Seniors Health: Study
5. Could Menthol Cigarettes Pose Even Higher Stroke Risk?
6. Online Tool Could Diagnose Autism Quickly, Developers Say
7. Codeine After Surgery Could Endanger Certain Kids: Study
8. BMC study shows diverting passengers to elevators could help reduce falls at Logan Airport
9. Discovery could help to develop drugs for organ transplant and cancer patients
10. Feelings of immaturity accompany alcohol misuse into adulthood; discovery could improve treatments
11. Saliva test could dramatically increase detection of oral cancer
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Could Sunlight Lower Your Odds for Pancreatic Cancer?
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think ... customers choose to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair ... to search the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced ... franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including ... sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and in the imaging field ... agency Aureus Medical Group . These fields, as well as travel ... for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, , The leading healthcare ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... BOSTON, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... a thorough second medical opinion process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits ... Benefit Plans and took place Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with Women’s Web – an online ... queries on topics on mental and emotional well-being relationship, life balance, stress, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 27, 2015 --> ... go online. The potential to save costs, improve treatment ... far from fully exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis ... either via mobile tablet or directly at the patients, ... ) -->      (Photo: ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... 27, 2015  Lannett Company, Inc. (NYSE: ... the acquisition of Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc. (KU), ... biopharmaceuticals company UCB S.A. (Euronext: UCB). ... acquired KU from UCB for total consideration of ... a customary working capital adjustment, a deduction of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: ... Sales Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, Instrumentation Review, ... their offering. --> ) ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: