Ovarian Cancer: Does active sun exposure help to prevent it?

Ovarian Cancer: Does active sun exposure help to prevent it?

ovarian cancerOvarian cancer, like most cancers, is nothing to trifle with. There are 22,280 new cases of ovarian cancer and 14,240 deaths annually in the U.S.[1] Compare that death statistic to melanoma, which has a death rate of only 9,730.[2] (And I might mention that people who are regularly in the sun have a reduced risk of melanoma.) But are there any indications that ovarian cancer is reduced by sun exposure? Yes. The National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Mortality Map also shows that ovarian cancers are much less common in sunnier Southern and Southwestern States than in the North and Northeast,[3] indicating a protective effect of sun exposure.

Research has also demonstrated a relationship between high sun exposure and low risk of ovarian cancer. For example, an Australian investigation showed that women in the highest third of sun exposure, over a lifetime, had a 30% reduced risk of all endothelial ovarian cancers, a 53% reduced risk of borderline tumors and 22% reduced risk of invasive tumors.[4] And, in one piece of research using the Nurses’ Health Study ll, sun exposure was associated with a 33% reduced risk of ovarian cancer.[5] Ovarian cancer mortality rates were also found to be strongly inversely correlated with solar UVB doses in an ecological study by Drs. William Grant and Cedrick Garland.[6]

Sun avoidance is one of the most deadly practices ever perpetrated on the public. Women, carefully embrace the sun and reduce your risk of this potentially deadly disease.

[1] Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2016. CA Cancer J Clin. 2016 Jan;66(1):7-30.

[2] American Cancer society statistics, 2017.

[3] Grant, W B. Information available at SUNARC.org, and at the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Mortality Maps and Graphs.

[4] Tran B, Jordan SJ, Lucas R, Webb PM, Neale R; Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group. Association between ambient ultraviolet radiation and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Nov;5(11):1330-6.

[5] Prescott J, Bertrand K, Poole E, Rosner B, Tworoger S. Surrogates of Long-Term Vitamin D Exposure and Ovarian Cancer Risk in Two Prospective Cohort Studies. Cancers 2013, 5, 1577-1600;

[6] Grant WB, Garland CF. The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates. Anticancer Res. 2006 Jul-Aug;26(4A):2687-99.

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