By Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute…
Kidney cancer is nothing to take lightly. Any protective measures you take will be worthwhile and potentially life-saving. Nearly 65,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer annually, accounting for roughly 4% of newly detected cancers and 2% of cancer deaths.[i]
Research demonstrates that kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, is reduced among people who have the greatest sun exposure. Dr. Sara Karami and her colleagues, in 2010, showed that among European men, there was a 24-38% risk reduction in renal cancer with the highest levels of sun exposure.[ii]
These same researchers, in 2015, showed that U.S. women with the highest two quartiles (fourths) of sun exposure had a 33% reduction in risk.[iii] Interestingly, the data was adjusted for vitamin D intake, and the results still showed sun exposure to have a stand-alone protective influence on kidney cancer—another indication that sun exposure has protective effects beyond vitamin D.
Other studies on kidney cancer, using different designs, have produced similar results. A study of Swedish construction workers showed a significant 30% decreased risk among men with the highest sun exposure,[iv] and in a study of approximately 451,000 adults, followed for nine years, increasing sun exposure was associated with a significant reduction in kidney cancer and several other cancers.[v]
Embrace the sun, and your kidneys will love you for it. Remember not to burn.
[i] Siegel R, Ma J, Zou Z, et al. Cancer statistics, 2014. CA Cancer J Clin 2014;64:9–29.
[ii] Karami S, Boffetta P, Stewart P, Rothman N, Hunting KL, Dosemeci M, Berndt SI, Brennan P, Chow WH, Moore LE. Occupational sunlight exposure and risk of renal cell carcinoma. Cancer. 2010 Apr 15;116(8):2001-10.
[iii] Sara Karami, Joanne S. Colt, Patricia A. Stewart, Kendra Schwartz, Faith G. Davis, Julie J. Ruterbusch,
Wong-Ho Chow, Sholom Wacholder, Barry I. Graubard, Mark P. Purdue and Lee E. Moore. A case–control study of occupational sunlight exposure and renal cancer risk. Int J Cancer 2015;138:1626–1633.
[iv] Håkansson N, Floderus B, Gustavsson P, Feychting M, Hallin N. Occupational sunlight exposure and cancer incidence among Swedish construction workers. Epidemiology 2001;12:552–7.
[v] Lin SW, Wheeler DC, Park Y, et al. Prospective study of ultraviolet radiation exposure and risk of cancer in the United States. Int J Cancer 2012;131:E1015–23.