A new study conducted by the University of Buffalo and the University of Puerto Rico has found that there is a lower risk of breast cancer in Puerto Rico due to increased exposure to the sun. The research has been published in the “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Journal”.
The researchers used a chromameter to compare skin pigmentation on unexposed and exposed skin in 307 cases and 328 controls. The difference in skin pigmentation provided an estimate of usual sun exposure. “This study was unique in that it involved Puerto Rican women, which allowed us to examine this association in a population with a wide range of skin colors and with high sun exposure all year round,” said lead author of the study, Jo L. Freudenheim, Distinguished SUNY Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the School of Public Health and the Health Professions at UB.
There is some evidence, though inconsistent, that sun exposure is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. There are a number of reasons that may account for this discovery, Freudenheim said. “A step in the internal production of vitamin D occurs when the skin is exposed to the sun,” she said.
“Sun exposure also affects the body in several other useful ways, with effects on inflammation, obesity and circadian rhythms. Although recent recommendations have been to limit sun exposure to prevent cancer skin, there may also be some benefit to some exposure to the sun, especially exposure without sunburn, ”she added. Previous studies on sun exposure and breast cancer have been conducted in locations that experience seasonal variations in ultraviolet radiation, including periods of low to no exposure. In Puerto Rico, however, there is no significant seasonal fluctuation, with the potential for continued exposure to high UV radiation for those who spend time outdoors.
“The study provided consistent results on different parameters,” said the first author of the article, Cruz Nazario, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the University of Puerto Rico. “The risk of breast cancer was lower for women with the highest cumulative exposure to the sun. Likewise, the risk was lower regardless of estrogen receptor status, and it was even lower in participants with healthy skin. darker, ”Nazario added.
The study was conducted as part of a long-standing collaboration between UB and the University of Puerto Rico. The co-authors of the article included Rosa V. Rosario-Rosado, University of Puerto Rico; Michelle Schelske-Santos, PhD, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras; Imar Mansilla-Rivera, PhD, University of Puerto Rico; Farah A. Ramirez-Marrero, PhD, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras; Jing Nie, PhD, University of Buffalo; Paola Piovanetti-Fiol, University of Puerto Rico; and Johan Hernandez-Santiago, University of Puerto Rico. (ANI)
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