Limited Sunlight Poses High Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

According to a new research, people who live in cloudy regions do not get enough vitamin D from the sun and may have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

A co-author of the study, Dr. Cedric Garland, who is an assistant professor with the San Diego School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, explained that people who live in regions where the weather is often cloudy do not get enough vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight. This results in a higher chance of getting pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Garland explained that, with the statistics adjusted for age, there are six times fewer cases of pancreatic cancer among people who live in places with lots of sun compared with people in cloudier areas. Therefore, the lack of sunlight suggests that the lack of vitamin D is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. However, there is not yet evidence for this statement.

Vitamin D can be found in foods like cheese, fatty fish, egg yolks, juices and milk. Researchers believe that vitamin D provided by food is not enough and that sun exposure is necessary for the body so it can generate adequate amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D synthesis starts when sunlight (ultraviolet rays) touches the skin.

Dr. Garland and his team came to this discovery after analyzing information from more than 100 countries. In addition, other cancer risk factors like smoking, alcohol and obesity were taken into account before the final results were published.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. The latest available statistics on this type of cancer show that it is the 4th leading cause of death linked to cancer in the United States. It has a higher mortality rate than all other cancers.

Further research is necessary to conclude whether vitamin D insufficiency linked to cloud cover definitely results in a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Nevertheless, the studies show that ultraviolet energy is reduced by 50% in regions with complete cloud cover.

This research was first published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Image source:



Top Posts | Research

Mediterranean diet

Mediterranean Dietary Lifestyle May Prevent Breast Cancer

Dr. Miguel Á. Martínez-González, MD, from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Madrid, and colleagues reported that breast cancer may be prevented by adopting a Mediterranean diet lifestyle that is known to be protective against cardiovascular diseases. The Mediterranean diet c ... ...

Immunological Cancer Therapy Takes Precedence

The human body is very tough. It can take a lot of abuse and still manage to function. However, just like a well-built machine, it is the internals of the human body that matter more than what is outside. So if something attacks from within, there is a chance that it may be enough to take over the ...

Sitting Linked to Increased Risk for Cancer in Women

According to a study conducted by the American Cancer Society, sitting too much can raise cancer risk in females. The study shows that women who spend 6 hours or more of their time sitting have increased cancer risk by 10% in comparison to the women who spend 3 hours of their time per day sitting.T ...

Light to Moderate Alcohol Intake Increases Cancer Risk

Dr. Edward L. Giovannucci, MD, ScD, Professor of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues reported that light to moderate alcohol intake increases cancer risk. The research team urged for updated health precautions on alcohol intake. The research team explained ...

Coffee Might Lower the Recurrence Risk of Colon Cancer

Dr. Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, from the University of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and colleagues reported that coffee might lower the recurrence risk of colon cancer. Despite their findings, the research team warned that these findings are not evidence of causation and are only associations ...