Often skin cancer is associated with exposure to ultraviolet light, but it turns out that this might not be the only threat. According to a recent study, there could be a connection between fish consumption and skin cancer.
Fish consumption linked to increased risk of skin cancer
Research has established that fish consumption is likely to increase the risk of skin cancer. Surprisingly it not only leads to the mild type but could also lead to aggressive cancer of the skin called melanoma.
Interesting engineering reported that National Cancer Institute and Brown University researchers tracked fish eating habits of 491,367 Americans aged between 50 and 70 for almost 15 years and assessed their risk of having skin cancer. Findings indicated that those that ate fish around two servings per week had a 22% increased risk of melanoma relative to those who took less fish. Also, the same subjects had a 28% high risk of having abnormal skin cells which might be a precursor for skin cancer.
Study author Eunyoung Cho said that melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in the United States and added that the risk of this condition is one in every 38 Whites, one in every 167 Hispanics, and one in every 1,000 Blacks.
Cho pointed out that comparable scientific investigations into the relationship between fish consumption and melanoma risk had produced mixed results. However, although their results offered hope, more research is still required.
Contaminants could be the link between fish consumption and skin cancer
According to Cho, they speculate that the study’s findings could be attributed to contaminants such as mercury, dioxins, arsenic and polychlorinated biphenyls found in fish. He added that the study didn’t evaluate the concentration of the contaminants in subjects’ bodies and that more studies are necessary to confirm the association.
Additionally, it is important to note that the individuals’ fish consumption was only determined at the start of the study. Given that the study’s time frame was 15 years, their intake may have significantly changed throughout that time.