Alcohol and Melanoma: More Proof that this Deadly Skin Cancer is not caused by Sunlight

Alcohol and Melanoma: More Proof that this Deadly Skin Cancer is not caused by Sunlight

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–

Those who make a fortune by maligning the sunlight as the cause of melanoma, fail to consider that there are many factors that correlate to an increased melanoma risk. Two decades ago, an important study was published in the Annals of Epidemiology, which pointed to several nutritional factors, one of which was the consumption of alcohol.[1] In that research, women who drank two or more drinks per day had an increased risk of melanoma of 250%. Then, in 2004, Amy Millen and her colleagues showed that  high alcohol consumption (2.8 drinks per week) correlated to an increased risk of melanoma of 69%.[2]

When considering those studies, it becomes obvious that increasing consumption of alcohol leads to increasing risk of melanoma. Millen’s research, by the way, defined many other nutritional factors that lead to either an increased risk of melanoma or a protection against the disease. I discussed those factors in an earlier post on nutrition and melanoma.

The latest research corroborates the findings of the two aforementioned studies. Jessica Kubo and colleagues investigated the effect of alcohol consumption on the risk of melanoma in a 10.2-year study.[3] Several interesting observations emerged: (1) those who consumed 7+ drinks per week had a 64% increased risk of melanoma; (2) higher lifetime alcohol consumption was positively correlated to risk of the disease; (3) higher current alcohol consumption similarly correlated to a higher risk: (4) current alcohol intake also predicted higher risk; (5) a preference for white wine or liquor also predicted increased risk.

So you see, the idea that melanoma is caused by sunlight exposure is again refuted. We know that as sunlight exposure has decreased profoundly in the last 100 years, the risk of melanoma has increased exponentially. When sunlight exposure has decreased and melanoma has concomitantly increased, what more needs to be said? I have previously posted two blogs on this subject and believe that they entirely refute the claim that melanoma is caused by sunlight.

It is time that we started using our heads and look for the real reason for melanoma. Alcohol is just one reason among many, and it is time to look to other deleterious lifestyles as being the real causes of this deadly disease.

[1] Bain C, Green A, Siskind V, Alexander J, Harvey P. Diet and melanoma. An exploratory case-control study. Ann Epidemiol 1993;3:235-8.

[2] Millen AE, Tucker MA, Hartge P, Halpern A, Elder DE, et al. Diet and Melanoma in a Case-Control Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2004;13(6):1042-51.

[3] Kubo JT, Henderson MT, Desai M, Wactawski-Wende J, Stefanick ML, Tang JY. Alcohol consumption and risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in the Women’s Health Initiative. Cancer Causes Control 2013 Oct 31. [Epub ahead of print]

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