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Eating meat raises skin cancer risk

A diet rich in meat and fat increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin as compared to a diet rich in vegetables and fruit.

Eating meat raises skin cancer risk

A diet rich in meat and fat increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin as compared to a diet rich in vegetables and fruit. Researchers from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane found that people who have a history of skin cancer, can benefit by avoiding fatty foods, overly processed foods, and foods with high amounts of sugar. They examined the dietary patterns of 1,360 people enrolled in a community-based skin cancer study. Using 38 food groups, they established two major dietary types: a meat and fat pattern and a vegetable and fruit pattern. The meat and fat pattern diet was found to significantly increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma. The risk was especially high in subjects with a history of skin cancer and who had greatest consumption of meat and fat. Conversely, the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin appeared to be significantly reduced among those who had a high consumption of fruit and vegetables. However, the association with green leafy vegetables mostly explained this protective effect. No association was seen between dietary patterns and cutaneous basal cell carcinoma, another common form of skin cancer. The findings suggest that diet can reduce risk of skin cancer, as does staying out of the sun during the peak hours, and using sunscreen and protective clothing.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
June 2007
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